by Graham Pierrepoint
Human lifespan has limits, according to scientific research:
The limit on how long human beings can live for is something which we believe to have fluctuated over the years – after all, some people have been able to live long, healthy lives into their 120s – and life expectancy worldwide is thought to be continuously on the up and up. Whether this means there are simply more old people in the world now or not remains to be seen – but scientists have clubbed together to find that the ultimate ‘ceiling’ for human age may be more cut and dried than we think.
Research published in the Medical Xpress on behalf of scientists working in The Netherlands have found that there is a distinct correlation in old age deaths – and that through statistical analysis over 30 years in The Netherlands (and taking into account 75,000 deaths), it seems that there is a ceiling of around 115 years – 115.7 for women and 114.1 for men, to be exact. While the work conducted only covered the sample of 75,000, researchers working at Erasmus University are keen to point out that the results show that while there may be more older people than ever in the world today, they do not seem to be getting much older – if you catch our drift!
This ceiling identifies what could be the maximum lifespan human beings could hope of reaching – with similar studies in recent years elsewhere also advising that 115 could be the last birthday we could ever hope to celebrate. The oldest person on record was Jeanne Calment of France, who lived for 122 years – having been born in 1875 and having passed away at her record-breaking age in 1997, twenty years ago. Since then, Calment’s lifespan has not been exceeded – and while many people have lived to be well over 100 years of age, could this also point to the existence of a 115 ceiling?
There continues to be studies and research undertaken into human lifespan, with some researchers keen to try and look at ways in which human life could even be extended in years to come – or ways in which the aging process could be reversed. There are, too, slightly more bizarre projects – involving transferring your consciousness into robotic replicas – but for now, let’s just concentrate on celebrating each birthday we get – and if any of us reach 116 years old, we may be truly special.