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Life expectancy: how high can it climb

Armen Hareyan's picture
Aging and life expectancy

In industrialized countries life expectancy has increased steadily in recent decades. Yet, how far can the statistics climb up?

Two French researchers put together their minds and wondered about the prospects for extending age in the coming years. Jacques Vallin and France Mesle have published their research at the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED).

The results show that people today live longer than 200 years ago. The figures have tripled. Life expectancy in the 18th century was about 27 years for men and 28 for women. It has increased to 78 years for men and 85 years for women in 2009.

Improved care is one of the factors that have contributed to this explosive growth. Other factors, such as economic, social and scientific, have also contributed to the fact that people today live longer. The question is, however, can the humans push the limits of aging even further?

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The answer seems to be "yes." The humans are going to live longer. Life expectancy calculators have shown an increase of 3 months in average per year. The calculators show no sing of of this curve slowing down. Everything is indicating that the numbers will continue to grow.

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Still, researchers say there are persisting doubts. They note that the growth in aging has depended on health improvements and scientific innovations. Vallin and Mixed say these are factors the future of which cannot be known in advance.

The research notes that it is hard to say what happens after 80 years. The data at this age is limited as fewer people live beyond 80. Also fewer countries have mortality data beyond this age.

The increase in life expectancy in countries where it is most favored still has "good days ahead." It is very likely that life expectancy exceeds one day beyond 100 years, but it is unreasonable to say that this is precisely what will happen to this generation already born, notes the conclusion of the research.