It was the year 1997 when The Lady in Black came for Jeanne Calment, in France. Nothing unusual. Then why I am telling you this? Because Mrs. Calment died at the age of 122. That is, until now, the absolute record for human longevity. Dr. Jan Vijg thinks that Mrs. Calment’s case was one of the last of human longevity. According to his studies, in present, humans have reached the limit of longevity. And while we know that there have been some other people who lived over 100 years, they were isolated cases and will most likely not happen very often. Or ever again.
We have reached the age limit
The doctor believes that the human race has reached the upper limit, age-wise. From now on, he thinks that people will no longer live more than 100-115 years, maximum. Dr. Vijg along with some of his students published a study on Wednesday. This is another step in the research to find out if there is indeed a barrier to human life-span. But as usual, some other experts strongly opposed this theory. James W. Vaupel, the director of the Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging, has called the study “a travesty”. He does not believe in this theory and thinks that there is a serious mistake which everyone makes. And he has an explanation for it.
Is life expectancy actually going up?
In 1990, when a child was born in the U.S, his life expectancy did not go over 50 years. Now, that number has increased, making the child life expectancy go up to 79 years. In Japan that expectancy is even higher. A Japanese child can live up to 83 years. But Dr. Vijg saw something totally different in his research.
After many studies, he found out that the shift towards growing up has slowed down in recent years, even stopping at one point, about 10 years ago. According to the doctor, this happened because the human race has reached a limit in its natural age. He then made another research and found out that in 1968, the oldest someone had died was 111 years-old. In the 1990s, someone had died at the age of 115. Then this trend abruptly stopped. Apart from the French lady who died at the age of 122, nobody passed 100-115 years old.
The future looks the same
The doctor also calculated if there is possible for someone to live longer than 122 years nowadays. The result? It is not possible. So, if we were to look at the future, most probably nobody is going to live longer than 122 years. That is, if meanwhile, science and medicine do not come up with some remedy for aging.
All in all, Dr. Vijg thinks that the best thing that we as humans can do is to try and extend our healthy years, not necessarily our number of years altogether. This way, we can live a happy, healthy life and enjoy it more without wishing we had more time on Earth. After all, it is a natural process and last time we checked, you could not defeat nature.
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