Life expectancy could now be expanded and limited to 115 years
Scientists in the US have claimed that the limit on life expectancy could be expanded to 115 years. The scientists analysed decades of data on human longevity. While some scientists have celebrated these findings other scientists have called the findings a dismal travesty.
Live expectancy has slowly been increasing since the 19th century this is due to breakthroughs such as vaccines. But how long can life expectancy keep increasing?
The scientists in New York looked at data from the Human Morality Database and then they looked at the deaths of people classed as super-centenarians, those over 110, in France, Japan, UK and US. The data showed that while the maximum age of death hadn’t changed for about two decades, the life expectancy in centenarians was slowing.
One of the scientists working on this study was Professor Jan Vijg and they stated “In people over 105 we make very little progress, that tells you we are most likely approaching the limit to human life. For the first time in history we’ve been able to see this, it looks like the maximum life span – this ceiling, this barrier – is about 115. It’s almost impossible you’ll get beyond it. You need 10,000 worlds like ours to end up with one individual in a given year who will live until 125 – so a very small chance.”
However one person came quite close to this. This individual was Jeanne Calment. Jeanne was 122 when she passed way in 1997. Her age can be backed up by official documents. Jeanne met the famous paint Vincent van Gogh and she was born before the construction of Eiffel Tower began. Since then no-one else has managed to get near her age.
Professor Dame Linda Partridge is the director of the UCL Institute of Health Ageing. She said that a limit to lifespans logically has to exist. She then added “Although this really interesting paper describes what is happening, it doesn’t describe what will happen. It was certainly very different to what the current birth cohort will go through, but it could yet be rather negative as a lot of children have grown up obese and that could bring lifespan down quite a lot,”.
One scientist that believes this study is a dismal travesty is Professor James Vaupel. He said “In this sorry saga, those convinced that there are looming limits did not apply demography and statistics to test hypotheses about lifespan limits—instead they exploited rhetoric, deficient methods and pretty graphics to attempt to prove their gut feelings. This study adds nothing to scientific knowledge about how long we will live.”
What is your opinion on this new study?