Anti aging guide

Is The Human Lifespan Increasing?



Studies have shown that life expectancies have not increased dramatically during the past century

The lifespan of a species is the age at which the average individual would die if there were no premature loss of life through disease or accidents. In the case of man, this might be 85 or even 90 years. The survival curves on world population being done by many studies and researches have shown that all will terminate at between 80 and 105, suggesting that almost 100 per cent of the population would have died by this age. Indeed, it is necessary, if the survival curve is to achieve the rectangular shape, that all curves should finish at the same point. This has led some researches to envisage a rosy scenario whereby avoidable illness is indeed increasingly avoided, thereby relieving society of the burden of chronic dependency caused by strokes, coronary artery disease, – chronic bronchitis, and cancer of the lung, to quote four examples. We will thus enjoy good health until we attain our lifespan, when we will die following a mercifully brief final illness.

But this is not the whole story. As studies have shown, the life expectancies of older age-groups have not increased as dramatically during the past century as have those at birth, but the increases in the UK do continue to be significant nevertheless. At age 85, life expectancy rose by 6 months (to 4.6 years for men and 5.6 years for women) between 1970-72 and 1978-80). Properly authenticated longevity records are regularly broken (the current record is over 120 years and is held by a Japanese man), although there is an element of inevitability about this. By analogy with athletics, all records must eventually be broken, especially as now there are so many more people living and so many of them are fitter.

Perhaps it is encouraging to reflect that man appears to be the longest lived mammal. Humans also live longer than the birds, for despite unconfirmed claims of vastly ancient cockatoos and vultures, none has been shown to live much longer than 80 years. Some fish may be capable of living for well over a century, and the Carolina box-tortoise has been recorded as living for 129 years.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - March 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm