Based on recent findings after analyzing 4,000 Italians who have lived a very long life, it seems that after reaching a certain age, around 80, the risk of dying in the near future is actually getting lower until the age of 105, contrary to the common belief. Kenneth Wachter, a demographer from the University of California, together with some colleagues from universities in Germany and Italy, published their studies in the journal Science last Friday.
Has the maximum human lifespan been reached yet?
We might have thought that we know what is the age limit for humans to live up to, but nothing could be further from the truth. It could be that we are still unaware of how long can a human being live for. According to Wachter, the newly analyzed data suggest that a human’s body might be capable of sustaining life for longer than we previously believed. He even went as far as stating that humans could be able to beat the current longevity record of 122.
What is the new research telling us?
It is well known that over the course of time, people have always wondered if there is any meaning behind the longevity of certain people. The new research might shed some light on this.
The international team who conducted the study took a look at people who reached more than 100 years. They investigated almost 4,000 documented cases of Italians who lived for more than 105 years, while analyzing their death rates. Additionally, they took into account the existing data on mortality rates and then combined the data. The results offer some statistics on the likelihood of death for each year between the ages of 65 and 105.
The data that we had until now showed that after reaching 65, people have more chances to die with each passing year. Not only that, but this known probability of death is actually getting double with every year. What was found this time, however, is that the doubling of the risk actually takes place only until the age of 80, and after this age the rate of increasing risk begins to slow down.
To make it even more intriguing, the authors of the study stated that for those people aged over 105, the yearly mortality rate started declining to some degree. So it does look like “longevity is continuing to increase over time”, and “a limit has not been reached” of how long humans can live for, as the team concluded.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.