Living to 150 years of age may have seemed like an impossibility not long ago, but recent developments in science and technology brought forth visions of a world where a significant increase of human lifespan is attainable.
Will we make it? A group of scientists at the University of Georgia (USA) says yes. In the next 40 years we will be living to 150 years of age. And even longer. What’s the truth?
Data from Gerontology Research Group shows the record of Jeanne Louise Calman, a Frenchwoman who lived to 122 years. Filipina Francisca Susano, who died at 124, is believed to have lived longer. The University of Georgia team said the limit has not yet been reached.
The scientists’ work was purely statistical. They analyzed mortality data for hundreds of millions of people. They took 19 industrialized countries. The years were between 1700 and the end of 1900.
The model identified patterns and predicted the age up to which people might live in the future. For those born before 1900 the age limit remained almost intact. But already for those born between 1910 and 1950, life expectancy increases considerably. This is due to the first wave of improvements in public health and medical technology. In most of the countries studied, the maximum age will increase markedly.
“The model leaves conclusions. The oldest Japanese born in 1919 or later are 50% likely to live 122 years or more. And from 1940 and older, they have a 50% chance of living more than 130 years.” David McCarthy, a professor at the University of Georgia, explained.
However, not all experts agree with these conclusions. They point out that it is purely mathematical and demographic. But it does not take into account the biology of aging. For example, the fact that human cells are prone to age-related diseases, such as cancer. Nor does it take into account future medical advances that will affect life expectancy.
Critics believe that such predictions can only be made from studies with large groups of people. Life expectancy is a biological category. The authors; however, agree with the observation. They noted that the mathematical model provides very useful information based on historical mortality data.
It looks like we will soon be living to be 150 years old. Let’s just hope it will be worth it to see the world of the future.