The human lifespan has fixed limits, is it true?



Why can't we live longer than 115 years?  That is the question posed after a new report on the "limit" of the number of ages humans can live on earth.  

Longevity is always a concern of scientists when the number of people living up to 110 years old is extremely rare, whether due to geography, genetics, medical care, reasonable diet or good living environment.

1. Life expectancy has increased rapidly and then has stopped since 2011

To be honest, over the past 2 centuries, human life expectancy has improved rapidly and steadily.  However, there is still no "miracle" that enhances the human longevity since it was not born.  

Long life or premature death is influenced by other factors, including genetics and atopic. To be clear, we are not "defaulted" to live longer even in the fetus without being affected by subjective and objective factors.

 Average life expectancy usually depends on race, environment, lifestyle, and access to a health care system that prevents disease.  

In the 1840s, on average, people could not live beyond the age of 40. But by the 1900s, during the time of Queen Victoria, life expectancy had increased to 60 thanks to improved nutrition, personal hygiene, housing and cleanliness.  

Life expectancy has increased rapidly thanks to the presence of vaccines, safer childbirth and significantly repels the destructive power of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Entering the 20th century, with the exception of the years of war, human life expectancy has increased thanks to the widespread dissemination of the modern health care system and early immunization of children against common diseases.  

Since the 1970s, as we make new progress, discovering risk factors to eliminate or alleviate heart disease and stroke, human life expectancy has continued to improve dramatically.  

Modern medicine continues to record such miracles that, in the 21st century, the expectation that a newborn baby's middle age can reach 80 for women and 75 for men.

 If this pace continues, each person could live for more than four years.  However, the reality is different.  Despite all advances in medicine, the rate of growth in life expectancy has slowed significantly since 2011, and this is the year when a question begins to be asked: “Why can't we continue to increase longevity in the old ways?  Which new factors must be attacked if we want to increase? ".

Many experts expressed concern about the "Curse 2011".  The fact that 2015 was a particularly bad year for human lifespan as the worst winter in years has led to the spread of some dangerous new strains of flu in North America and many European countries. 

2. Only one person lives to 122 years old

The human lifespan has fixed limits, is it true?

Only one person lives to 122 years old / ph: pexels

Some health professionals hope this is just a "short-term step backwards" to human longevity, but what's going on proves that they may be wrong.

 Just look at the large epidemics on animals or the local epidemic on humans, there has begun to appear a "resistance" to repel a long-lived dream of humanity.  The latest figures released by the UK National Bureau of Statistics (ONS) for the period 2016-2018 (on a 3-year cycle) show that this is the first cycle not to suffer a winter that is harmful to human health. 

 Statistics show that, despite some improvement in this cycle compared to the previous cycle, it will still take 12 years for Britons to have 1 year more life expectancy!  So what are the reasons why human life expectancy has slowed down?  

One reason is given that after years of dramatically increasing lifespan, we have reached the attainable "lifespan ceiling" relative to the human body.  To be clear, humans are at the upper limit of human lifespan.

 Official records show that the longest living person to date is a French woman named Jeanne Calment, who died at the age of 122 (1997).  She was born before the Eiffel Tower and met the painter Vincent Van Gogh.  Since then, no one (with a reliable identity record) has lived longer than her.

A study just published in the journal Nature boldly suggests a life expectancy limit of 115!  Scientists in New York analyzed data stored for decades by Human Mortality Database and people 110 and older in the UK, US, France, and Japan.  However, the "limit of 115" continues to receive different streams of opinions, there are a lot of agree but also disagree. 

Professor James Vaupel, director of the Max Planck Institute for Population Research, is among those who disagree with the 115 mark. He said: “In the past we have talked about the 65, 85, and 105 limit, but it was never true.  In addition, the new report does not provide a valid scientific basis for the 115 ”limit.  Professor Jay Olshansky, of the University of Illinois Institute, said: "New York researchers have relied on the life span of mice to assign to humans.  Rats live about 1,000 days, dogs about 5,000 days, so humans must also have a natural limit that cannot be overcome!  Such inference is ridiculous! ".

 American geneticist David Sinclair, author of Lifespan book on human longevity affirms: “If it is possible to detect and improve genetic factors related to longevity, human lifespan can exceed  far from the 115-year limit ”.  

In Japan, a country famous for many long-lived people, in recent years, the number of people living for a long time has also increased compared to many other countries.  In fact, out of the wealthy countries studied by the ONS, only the US lost to Britain in terms of the number of long-lived people.

3. How to break the natural limit of human lifespan?

Dr. Edward Morgan, ONS longevity specialist, says there are a number of complex factors that delay the rise in longevity and that he wants to open up a thorough investigation before coming to a satisfactory conclusion.  

Public Health England (PHE) has released a number of elements in the new report and emphasizes the "not many major improvements in health care and medicine in two decades." In addition, when humans are prevented from dying from one disease, another new or mutant disease will take its place.

 The pursuit between man and disease is nearly endless.  For example, when the death rate from heart disease, stroke and cancer drops significantly, the death rate from dementia begins to increase.  

When the medical community seeks to slow the death of a disease instead of curing it, the life expectancy cannot increase either.  The PHE report also highlights "life in poverty," which the former World Health Organization (WHO) advisor, Professor Michael Marmot, once viewed as "plays an important role in reducing life expectancy".

Evidence in many countries has shown that the poor population has very slow growth in life expectancy due to the lack of money for proper and timely health care.  Preventing disease is a "luxury" idea for many poor people.  They are very stressed out about spending on health, while the help of governments and charitable organizations in poorly developed countries is both weak and lacking.  

However, health experts all agree that people can prolong life if related factors such as genetics, diet, environment, treatment of terminal and chronic diseases can be improved and enhancing access to health care by low-income classes.

 Professor Jan Vijg, a researcher from the Albert Einstein medical school, said: “The number of people living above 105 has grown extremely slowly over the past few years, making us think of 'insurmountable limit".  

For the first time in history, humans may have to accept the life expectancy ceiling: 115. We need 10,000 times the population of the earth to find… someone who lives to 125 years old!  

Professor Dame Linda Partridge, director of the UCL Institute for Aging agrees: "The life limit is real and maybe we have to practice accepting it."  "If we want to live to be 130 years or older, we have to make a landmark change at the cellular and genetic makeup level with the release of thousands of new drugs," Vijg emphasized.  

But aging is a complicated process that science has not fully understood, so breaking the life limit is extremely difficult.

The human lifespan has fixed limits, is it true?

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