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Monday, January 30, 2023

A timeless debate: How long can a human live?

World NewsA timeless debate: How long can a human live?

The death of French nun Lucille Rendon, known as Sister André, at the age of 118 — in fact, 25 days short of her 119th birthday — has brought to life the perennial question: A person really How long can one expect to live?

Sister Andre, who was the oldest person until her death on Tuesday, had held the mantle since April 19 last year after the death of Japan’s Ken Tanaka at the age of 119 years and 107 days. It now belongs to Maria Branias Moreira of Spain, whose 116th birthday falls on March 4.

Also read: The world’s oldest person, French nun Lucile Rendon, died at the age of 118.

Tanaka lived the second longest life on record, behind only Jean Calment of France, who was 122 years and 164 days old when he died on August 4, 1997. Ever broke down?

Apparently so. Recent research has estimated that this record is almost certain to be broken during the current century. Another study puts life expectancy at 150 years, but many things have to work in a person’s favor to live that long.

Other research, meanwhile, continues the debate. Some results suggest that there is no upper limit involved. Others assert that aging (and consequently death) is inevitable, even though people are living much longer today than they were just a few centuries ago.

The 122-year record-breaking estimate came in a study published in June 2021, when Tanaka was 118 years old and Sister Andre had just passed her 117th birthday. Using statistical modeling, University of Washington researchers estimated that:

● There is an almost 100% chance that the record will be broken by the end of the century.

● There is a 99% chance that one or the other will live to 124.

● 68% chance of being breached at age 127 but,

● There is only a 13% chance that anyone will live to 130.

The last of these estimates is not necessarily a dampener. Even if the probability of living to 130 is low, the theoretically possible range is as high as 150 years, according to another study, published in 2021, in Nature Communications.

The two studies reached their conclusions using very different methods. While one from the University of Washington was statistical, the other was biological.

Researchers at Jero, a Singaporean biotech company, in collaboration with the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, US, used an index called DOSI, based on a complete blood count, to measure people’s recovery from various stressors, such as illness. Capacity can be measured. Strenuous workouts and lack of adequate sleep. Extrapolating their findings from the study subjects, they found that the human body completely loses its elasticity around the age of 120-150.

The caveat is that these estimates are for individuals without major comorbidities.

The modeling study used a tool called Bayesian statistics and a database of people in 13 countries to estimate what the longest human lifespans could be in the year 2100. point

That is, a 10-year-old child may have a much higher chance of living another year than a 90-year-old will live to 91, but the difference is much smaller among very old people. To illustrate with an example, the oldest person today, Moreira, who is about 116, has the same chance of living to 117 as the eighth oldest, Japan’s Yasuo Okai, who is 114. are, celebrating their 115th anniversary. Results

At these advanced ages, the chance of living another year is about 50:50 whether the person is 110 or 115. Needless to say, it is not 50:50 in the long run: if an individual is likely to live another year. 50%, then their probability of surviving a second year drops to 25% (when calculated today), and so on. Hence the difference in estimates for individuals living to 122, 124, 127 and 130 years.

The odds of surviving one birthday to the next drop to about 50:50 at age 105, according to an earlier study published in Science in June 2018. He based his findings on data from all Italians aged 105 or older. , and concluded that this plateau in mortality risk implies that there is no upper limit to human longevity.

This by no means ends the debate. In June 2021, another study in Nature Communications tested the “invariant rate of aging” hypothesis, which basically means that the rate of aging is more or less constant among adults of any generation. Using the index DOSI to analyze data from 30 primate species, including diverse populations of humans, the researchers concluded that this hypothesis is valid.

Oxford University, whose researchers were part of the study, summed it up with a statement: “You can’t live forever: aging can’t be stopped.”

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