People are living longer due to advances in medicine and nutrition, but of course, we can't live forever. Scientists have found what could be the maximum human lifespan, and it's actually not that bad.
According to the researchers, women can live up to 115.7 years of age, while men can live up to 114.1 years of age. This is apparently the oldest we'll ever possibly get, even though generally, our living conditions as a species have improved. Though we're living longer than we have before, it seems that the rate at which our lifespan is increasing has plateaued. We're not likely to age beyond 115.
This is a controversial claim, however. It first came up last year, when another team of researchers made the same conclusions. Surprisingly, it was met with a significant amount of backlash. Other scientists hotly disputed the claims, saying that according to present evidence, our lifespans are only set to grow longer.
How much time do we really have?
So is there indeed an upper limit on our lifespans? Maybe. A new study made the same findings as the 2016 study, which other scientists vigorously contested. Researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands collected the data of 75,000 Dutch people who had died sometime in the past three decades.
“On average, people live longer, but the very oldest among us have not gotten older over the last thirty years,” says Professor John Einmahl, one of the researchers. Apparently, we may have already reached the maximum human lifespan back in the nineties.
However, the researchers also admit that there could be and that there are indeed exceptions to the rule. One glaring example is Jeanne Clament, a French woman who was confirmed to have been 122 years and 164 days old when she died. Clament is considered to be the longest-lived woman so far. According to Jan Vijg, one of the authors of the 2016 study, finding someone who'll live to an age close to 125 is very rare. “You need 10,000 worlds like ours to end up with one individual in a given year who will live until 125—so a very small chance,” says Vijg.
As of now, we'll have to wait for how other scientists and specialists will respond to this newer study. Will they respond with the same vehemence they responded with to last year's study? Or will this make them reconsider their positions?
Einmahl and his colleagues used something called “Extreme Value Theory”, a statistical brand, which showed that there is no fluctuation in the maximum human lifespan. Whether or not this will be acceptable to other scientists still remains to be seen.
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