Scientists say there is no limit to human life expectancy

The authors of the new study, using a combination of statistics of extreme values, analysis of survival and mortality of centenarians, were able to come to a comforting conclusion: the increase in the number of people who have reached the oldest possible age leads to the fact that already in this century one of us will be able to break Jeanne’s record Kalman and live to be 130 years old. The odds are one in a million, but it’s not impossible.

The record of Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Kalman, born in 1875 and died in 1997, still has no equal: her life expectancy is 122 years and 164 days. Although this unique case has been confirmed, it is distrustful for many. So, some are sure that Kalman died much earlier, and her daughter later pretended to be her. However, a new study by scientists from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland) and the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg (Sweden) suggests that already in this century, a person will be able to live up to 130 years – or even longer. The chances are still slim though.

The limit of life expectancy remains one of the favorite topics for controversy in the scientific community: for example, the authors of some works argued that we can exist up to 150 years, while others – that there is no maximum age until which a person is able to live. For example, researchers at the University of Washington recently found out using statistical modeling that the probability that we will reach 126 by 2100 is 89 percent.

Scientists from Switzerland and Sweden, whose article was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, continue this discussion. They analyzed the information stored in the International Database of Life Expectancy for 1.1 thousand centenarians (over 105) from 13 countries, including France and Italy.

“The number of centenarians (over 100 years old) has been growing for many years in many countries, thanks to improved nutrition, health and social conditions, and so on, although Covid-19 has somewhat reduced these rates. Our study looks only at those who have lived for more than 105 years, but it seems reasonable to believe that the same factors will lead to an increase in the number of the “oldest of the old”, – said Anthony S. Davison of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne in a commentary for Gazeta.Ru “.

It is believed that the risk of death increases with age: that is, a 90-year-old is 1,500 times more likely to die next year than a nine-year-old. But the results of the authors of the new study suggest that as a result, this indicator reaches a plateau and the probability of dying remains, one might say, fixed: at the level of about 50 to 50. “After 110 years, we can assume that living another year is almost like throwing a coin Davison adds. “If you hit heads, you will live to see your next birthday, and if not, you will die at some point during the next year.”

This does not mean that such people are immortal. For a person over 110 years of age, the odds of reaching 130 years of age are still equal to one in a million – unlikely, but not impossible. And if the world adds people of such a venerable age, thanks to modern medicine, social progress and other achievements of the 21st century, this will become more and more believable – and one of us, perhaps, will soon break Jeanne Kalman’s record.

“Any study of extreme aging, whether statistical or biological, involves extrapolation,” explains Davison. “We were able to establish that if there is a limit below 130 years, then we should have discovered it now using the available data.” Thus, scientists believe that the duration of human life, most likely, has no boundaries. By the way, although statistics show that men die earlier than women, the authors of the new work did not reveal differences in survival rates between the sexes.

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