Can humans push the limit of longevity?

Can humans push the limit of longevity?

What are the odds of living to be 100 years old? Not good. Even with a healthy lifestyle, the actuarial charts are not on our side as we step ever further into the mist of old age. Nearly half a million centenarians are estimated to live worldwide. That sounds like a lofty number. But the global population is approaching 8 billion souls.

The oldest documented person lived to a ripe age of 122 years, dying in 1997. This all begs the question in an age when medical advances are routine: What’s the outer limit on how long a human can live?

University of Washington researchers used statistical methods to tackle the question of our maximum possible age. They concluded it is extremely likely that the record for longevity will eventually be broken.

The scientists used an international longevity database that tracks information on centenarians in Europe, Canada, Japan and the United States. They then computed the laws of probability.

They estimated a 99% chance someone would live to 124 years by the year 2100. They rated it a 68% probability someone would eventually celebrate a 127th birthday. The big 1-3-0 was calculated to be a 13% likelihood.

Investigators deemed it extremely unlikely humans would ever reach 135 years, absent some science fiction-like medical breakthrough.

Still, don’t bet on a birthday cake with 130-plus candles being in your future. Longevity is like the lottery: It’s more about the DNA you inherited than anything. Even so, eat well. Don’t smoke. Exercise. Who knows what the future holds.

And don’t get too excited by even 130 years. The oldest giant sequoia tree, after all, is more than 3,200 years young — and counting.

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