Lifespan – is 120 really the new normal?

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Click the globe for translations.

Most people want to live a long life. But it’s not enough to have a long lifespan; a long healthspan is also a vital goal and an economic challenge.

We often hear how 40 is the new 30, 70 is the new 50 or 100 is the new 80. Now, it also appears that 110 could be the new 100. Two recent reports have revealed that not only are there more centenarians alive today than ever before, but have also promised further insight into the lifestyles of the world’s supercentenarians – those who are significantly over the age of 100. 

In the summary of the forthcoming book Longevity Industry 1.0, authors Dmitry Kaminskiy and Margaretta Colangelo state: “Life expectancy is longer than we assume. On average, middle-aged people today can expect to live 120 years; the elderly can expect to live to 100; and younger people can expect to live beyond 120 years.”

In recent analysis [1], the United Nations said there are now some 573,000 centenarians on the planet, with that figure set to rise to 3.7million in 2050. 

The continually rising number of centenarians across the globe is a clear demonstration of the vital need for continuing research into the aging sphere to ensure that those living longer don’t just have a long life, but also a good quality of life and the funding to maintain it. 

According to the statistics, the country with the most absolute centenarians currently is the US, while the country with the most centenarians per capita is Japan. Japan is also home to the world’s oldest living person; Kane Tanaka (pictured) who was born in 1903. 

Compared to population size, the countries following Japan with the highest rates of centenarians are Spain, the Czech Republic, France, Canada and Italy. 

Meanwhile, a fascinating supercentenarians report is set for release by the Aging Analytics Agency [2]. The research is set to ask and answer important questions about how long humans can live as well as providing a more intimate look at supercentenarians alive today, with first-hand accounts on how they live their lives. 

Already, the report has shown that there are far more female supercentenarians alive in the world than men. Interestingly, it also shows that supercentenarians show little evidence of chronic age-related conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or myocardial infarction (heart attack). There was also no history of stroke or other serious physical problems. 

Long healthspan coupled with long lifespan shows how important the study of supercentenarians could be in the fight against aging and the management of economies. Longevity.Technology will, of course, bring you further news and insight from the full Supercentenarians Landscape Overview report upon publication. 

[1] https://bit.ly/2rX7Z91

[2] https://aginganalytics.com/top-supercentenarians-overview/

Image credit: Kyodo/via REUTERS
Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

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