New Study Claims There Is No Limit on How Long Humans Can Live

While the average life expectancy for Americans currently stands at 78.7 years, results from a new study conducted by a team of researchers from Europe and the U.S. suggests that there’s no limit on how long people can live.

In the study published Thursday in the journal, Science, researchers examined 3,836 Italians aged 105 and older between 2009 and 2015 and found that after age 105, the risk of dying remains the same.

“We observed level hazard curves, which were essentially constant beyond age 105. Our estimates are free from artifacts of aggregation that limited earlier studies and provide the best evidence to date for the existence of extreme-age mortality plateaus in humans,” the researchers said in an abstract of their findings.

Kenneth Wachter, a professor of statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, who is co-author of the study, explained to AFP that: “As we age, our health and risks of death get worse faster and faster. But at extreme ages, they stop getting worse. They don’t get better, but they stop getting worse. They level out — it’s called a plateau.”

The study also looked at mortality among people born in the same years and found that over time they found slight declines in the mortality rate, suggesting that people are living longer than others born in prior years as time goes on.

“The slow but distinct improvements over time that we see in the level of the plateau beyond age 105 give hope that a fixed limit to life span is not currently in view,” Wachter said.

Not all researchers, however, see the results of this study as evidence that there isn’t a limit to the human life span. Brandon Milholland, who co-authored a paper published in Nature in 2016 which argues that human life is bound by the limits of natural processes, told Live Science that he wasn’t convince the study pointed to evidence of a plateau.

“I do not consider the evidence for a plateau presented in this paper to be especially strong,” Milholland said, noting that “if we assume that this paper is correct and mortality [risk] is flat after age 105, the fact that the chances of dying don’t go up doesn’t mean there is no limit to life span.”

He further noted that: “There aren’t many 105- year-olds to begin with, and only a fraction of them will live to 106. And only a fraction of those survivors will make it to 107, and so on. Soon, we reach an age at which we expect close to no survivors, or a survivor only once in 1,000 or 10,000 years.”

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Source: Christian Post