Doctors are examining how old we humans can be in today's world
Humans are getting older. Especially in the last century, life expectancy increased exorbitantly. Every person has to die once, but the question remains “when”? Researchers have been wondering for some time whether there is an upper limit? Some scientists now believe that this limit is around 115 years.
The researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that people will not be older than 115 in the future. It seems that we have reached the upper limit of our life expectancy. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Nature".
Human longevity record is 122 years
There are always people who reach very old age. For example, on August 4, 1997, Jeanne Calment died in a nursing home in France. The senior was at the age of 122. This age represents the current record for human longevity.
Have people already reached their maximum life expectancy?
Dr. Jan Vijg from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine doubts that people will reach this old age in the future. The upper limit of human longevity seems to have been reached. In the future, people will not be older than 115 years, adds the doctor. There has been a debate among scientists for some time now about whether there is a natural upper limit for human life expectancy. Some experts are still of the opinion that people have not yet reached their upper limit of life expectancy.
Life expectancy has risen sharply in the last century
When children were born in the United States around 1900, they had an average life expectancy of almost 50 years, the experts explain. When an American child is born these days, it lives on average until the age of 79. For comparison, the current life expectancy in Japan is around 83 years. Dr. Vijg and his team examined this data in more detail. The scientists found how many people live at a certain age. They then compared these numbers for their calculations with how quickly the population grew at every age.
The fastest growing part of society consists of old people
The fastest growing part of society was old people, explains Dr. Vijg. For example, in France in the 1920s, 85-year-olds were the fastest growing group of women (starting from a very low level). Then, when the average life expectancy increased, the top of the fastest growing age groups shifted. In the 1990s, the fastest growing group of French women, women aged 102, said the doctors. If this trend continued, 110-year-old French women would be the fastest growing group today.
Maximum age stagnation
Instead, the shift in peak age has slowed in the current calculations and appeared to be gradually continuing, the researchers report. Vijg and his team then examined the data from forty different countries. They were able to identify the same trend. This change in the growth of the increasingly older population began in the 1980s. At that time, growth slowed in the top age groups. The reason for this could be an upper limit on the longevity that we humans have now reached, explains Dr. Vijg.
Doctors use international longevity database
The researchers also analyzed an international database on longevity. This contained detailed reports of 534 people of very old age. In 1968 the highest age reached was 111 years. In the 1990s, this figure rose to around 115 years. Then this increase stagnated, with a few rare exceptions. These included, for example, Jeanne Calment, say the scientists.
Theoretically, the probability of becoming 122 years old is 0 percent
Even when we look at the data from the other oldest people, the tendency has always been the same, says Dr. Given the current trend, the probability of reaching the age of Jeanne Calment seems to be practically zero these days.
People in the near future will probably not be older than 115 years
We assume that the oldest people will live to be around 115 in the foreseeable future, the experts explain. Scientists have long debated whether there is a limit to the lifespan. But it is only thanks to the long-term increase in average life expectancy that people live long enough to reach this upper limit, explains Dr. Vijg.
Antibiotics, medication and healthy eating contribute to a longer life
From the end of the 19th century, average life expectancy began to increase. This was mainly due to lower death rates among children. The health of adult people has also improved in recent decades, the researchers explain. Some of the health improvements are due to smoking cessation and better nutrition. Of course, antibiotics and other medications also helped treat chronic diseases and thereby increased our life expectancy, the scientists further explain.
Our DNA is damaged by age
According to the researchers, aging is an accumulation of damage to DNA and other molecules. Our body can slow down this process by repairing some of the damage that occurs, the scientists explain. At an advanced age, the body was no longer able to repair all damage. (as)