Life expectancy may have a limit after all: Don’t expect to live a day past 125

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gustavofrazao / 123RF Stock Photo
Do you want to live forever? The average life expectancy has increased from about 50 for people born in 1900 to as high as 83 for people born today. Japan is the current leader, with several other countries also in the low 80s. But how about the exceptions, the people who live to be the oldest on Earth, — is that age increasing as well? Not really. It looks like maximum age tops out at 125, and even that is the exception, according to Reuters.

Scientists who studied the records and statistical trends of maximum life spans published their findings in the journal Nature. One of the leaders of the study, Brandon Milholland, a molecular geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine said: “Despite any gains in the average life expectancy, there is a limit beyond which the maximum life span of humans cannot be extended.”

The record for age at death has not increased since 1997 when Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment died at the age of 122. Two years earlier, when asked what type of future she expected, Calment said, “A very short one.”

In most years, the oldest person alive has been about 115. According to the study published in Nature, we shouldn’t count on that age increasing “for the foreseeable future.”

“It is possible that someone might live slightly longer, but the odds of anybody in the world surviving to 125 in any given year is less than one in 10,000,” said Milholland.

Advances in medicine and medical research continue but don’t increase maximum life span. Most advances relate to specific diseases, but life span-limiting changes affect all organs and body systems.

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