Does Human Life Span Really Have A Limit?

The limits of human existence might not be as limited as we have long thought.

A person’s risk of death slows and even plateaus above age 105, a new study reports, challenging previous research saying there’s a cutoff point past which the human life span cannot extend.

According to the researchers, the data tell us that there is no fixed limit to the human life span yet in sight. Researchers have found that mortality rates are not getting worse forever and there may be more progress to be made improving survival past the ages of 80 to 90.

Specifically, the study showed that people at age 110 had the same continued chances of survival as those between the ages of 105 and 109—a 50/50 chance of dying within the year and an expected further life span of 1.5 years.

This plateau runs counter to the way death risk relentlessly rises as we age from age 40 onward.

“If mortality rates kept rising at the rates they rise from age 40 to age 90, then there would be a strong barrier to progress at extreme ages—great diminishing returns to behavioral change or to new medical advances,” the lead researcher Wachter said. “The fact these rates ultimately level out gives hope there’s more leeway for those advances.”

The oldest known human on record is Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 at age 122.

 

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.