How many years can we live? This is what science says

Life expectancy in the world has increased by around five years since 2000, says the World Health Organization (WHO), noting that this is the largest growth since the 1960s. In Spain, the average between Men and women are 83 years old , the second highest among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries — behind Japan, which is 83.9. And it is projected to increase up to five years by 2030 .

We live more and more and to think that at some point there will be many who exceed 100 years does not seem such a crazy idea. Some have already succeeded; the official record is held by Jeanne Calment, who died at 122 years old. There are even those who claim to be even older, such as the self-proclaimed as the oldest man in the world , who died in 2017 at 146 years old. And, most importantly, science points out that we have not yet reached the peak of human longevity.

Says a study published in the prestigious journal Science , which has analyzed the progression of the mortality rate throughout life . According to research, the peaks are in childhood, around 30 and shoots between 70 and 89 years. However, once the centennial is over, the curve stops increasing, stabilizing, forming a plateau that “begins to sink over time,” says Kenneth W. Wachter, a demographer at the University of California at Berkeley and one of the authors of the work.

Although the authors do not explain why the mortality rate stabilizes at ages above 100 years, they do affirm that humanity “is not close to reaching a maximum point in life expectancy,” says Wachter.

But, don’t get your hopes up, you won’t live forever. The researchers also explain that a stagnant mortality rate does not mean that with each year of life there are no more chances of dying and that the higher the longevity record is, the more difficult it will be to achieve.

Strive just enough

On the other hand, although our body still has much potential for improvement, we have limited our possibilities in terms of physical performance .

It is the disappointing conclusion of a review of more than 160 studies collecting data from the last 120 years, carried out by a team of French researchers and published last October in the journal Frontiers of Physiology . Environmental and climatic changes have a lot to do with it. “Despite scientific progress in food and health, modern society has allowed the species to reach its limit,” says Jean-François Toussaint, from the University of Paris Descartes. Sad, isn’t it?


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