Scientists say extreme longevity may hit new milestone in coming decades

Brittany A. Roston - Jul 4, 2021, 1:08pm CDT
Scientists say extreme longevity may hit new milestone in coming decades

People are living longer on average and the number of people who experience “extreme longevity” is likewise increasing. Though most people do not live to reach the age of 100, the data shows that people who manage to live beyond that age has been increasing over past decades. A new analysis out of the University of Washington estimates this trend will continue, potentially including new record-breaking ages by the end of the century.

The study specifically focuses on supercentenarians, the term used for people who live to the age of 110 or beyond. Such extreme ages are rare, though the researchers note that the number of people who reach age 100 or higher has hit nearly half a million across the world.

Right now, the world’s oldest person, Kane Tanaka, is 118; the oldest-ever known person, Jeanne Calment, died at age 122. By the end of this century, the researchers behind this new study estimate that some people may eclipse those ages and reach up to age 130, a figure that would be both incredibly rare and a new milestone for longevity.

The estimate is based on statistical modeling, which found there’s a “strong likelihood” that someone will break the world record age of 122 and that it’ll likely involve a new record-breaking age of 25 to 132 years. The probability of a new record-breaking age in the coming decades is “near 100%.”

The probability of someone reaching age 124 was found to be 99-percent, while the odds of someone reaching the age 127 were found to be 68-percent. Reaching the age of 130 will be far rarer, with the probability at only 13-percent. Beyond that age, the study found it would be “extremely unlikely” for someone to reach the age of 135.


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