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Study Says Humans May Live to Be 130 by the End of the Century

super-centenarians
A new study predicts that humans will live to 130 by the end of the century. Credit: Therese Ottawa, CC BY-SA 4.0

A new study suggests that it may be possible for human beings to live to the age of 130 by the end of this century.

Researchers have studied the biological lives of over 3,800 Italian ‘semi-super-centenarians,’ or people who have managed to live longer than 105 years, as well as over 9,800 French individuals who reached that age as well.

The study yielded some surprising results. It showed that if people were able to pass over the 110-year-mark, their chances of living longer were about 50/50. Basically, every passing year after someone’s 110th birthday they have an equal chance as to whether they will stay alive another year.

How increasing population will lead to humans that live 130 by the 22nd century

In our current moment, the chances of getting lucky for 20 years after that point and living to the age of 130 is extremely slim — roughly one in a million. But that may not be the case by the end of the century — the authors of the study seem to think that a human’s chances of living to 130 will greatly increase by the 22nd century.

The conclusion of the study itself states that: “The probability of surviving until 130 conditional on reaching 110 years approximately equals that of seeing heads on 20 consecutive tosses of a fair coin.

“This event has a probability of less than one in a million and is highly unlikely to occur in the near future, though the increasing number of super-centenarians makes it possible that the maximum reported age at death will rise to 130 years during the present century.”

The study, which was published by the Royal Society Open Science journal, was conducted with the intention of finding out whether or not there was a cap on human being’s longevity.

If there was truly a ceiling that no person could live beyond, one could expect elderly people to die the moment they hit it. But the study of the French and Italian super-centenarians found that this simply wasn’t the case.

Instead of a dramatic fall-off, the researchers found that at 108 years old, people’s chances of dying begin to level out to 50/50.

The data in the study may have an impact on efforts to build anti-aging technology, something Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has begun investing in.

“Solid empirical understanding of human mortality at extreme age is important as one basis for research aimed at finding a cure for aging,” wrote the researchers.

Bezos has been focusing intensely on technologies that reverse the aging process along with his more publicized efforts to expand commercial space travel. His investment company has recently put money into Unity, a San Francisco Bay area firm that is researching ways to halt aging.

Unity is attempting to find ways to rid senescent cells from the body. These cells not only cause cancer but also cause macular degeneration and arthritis over time — hallmarks of aging.

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