“Our results suggest that human life could have a natural time limit” according to American scientists in a study published by Nature. They studied the “super-centenarians” in four countries (France, Japan, United Kingdom, United States), and the maximum age reached in around forty countries. They conclude that, “Although life expectancy continued to rise during the 20th century, the maximum human life span could already have been reached”.
The maximum age at death rapidly increased between 1970 and 1990, but has decreased slightly since 1995. The record for longevity is still held by French woman, Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122. Since then, “the eldest humans have died around the age of 115 and we predict that this is unlikely to change in the near future”, assume scientists. They believe that, “The chances of a human being living to 125 are virtually non-existent with a ‘probability of less than 1 in 10,000’”. In addition, more and more people are living beyond the age of 70 but the increase in survival in subjects over 100 years of age has decreased since 1980.
To extend human longevity, “therapeutic advances capable of controlling the numerous genetic variants that appear to collectively determine the human lifespan are needed”. Progress made in the fight against infectious and chronic diseases could increase the average life expectancy of the population but not the maximum lifespan. Furthermore, to exceed current limits, “those in search of immortality should pin their hopes on hitherto undiscovered technologies”.
Photo : Pixabay, image libre de droits.