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Will Humans Live to 120? Science Is Working on It

Scientists indicate that humans will live to 120!

We often hear how 50 is the new 30, 70 is the new 50, or 90 is the new 70. Now, it also seems that 120 could be the new 100. Recent reports have shown that not only are there more centenarians alive nowadays than ever before, but they have also provided further insight into the lifestyles of the supercentenarians—those who are 110 or older.

In a recent analysis, the United Nations reported there are now about 573,000 centenarians in the world, with that figure set to go up to 3.7 million in 2050.

The growing number of those living past 100 across the globe is a clear indicator that we need further research into the aging field to ensure that those living longer don’t just have a long lifespan but also a good quality of life and the finances to maintain it.

In the past few years, scientists have been working on the matter, trying to figure out the factors that shorten our life expectancy and how much we can control them! The results are pretty promising—humans will live to 120!

Let’s find out more!

humans will live to 120
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The current record for human age may soon be surpassed

A new study proposes that not only will we live longer, but humans will also break longevity records in the near future. Apparently, the supercentenarian generations are soon to come. Led by David McCarthy, an assistant professor of real estate and insurance at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, this study took a mathematical approach to mortality rates.

Along with his colleague, assistant professor of insurance and risk management at the University of South Florida, Po-Lin Wang, he used models to see whether humans will live to 120. The findings indicate that the current longevity record may soon be surpassed.

According to recent statistics, the country with the highest absolute number of people over the age of 100 is currently the US, while the country with the most people aged 100 or older per capita is Japan. The world’s oldest person currently is Maria Branyas of Spain, who was born in 1907 (she has 116 years).

Compared to population size, the countries following Japan with the highest number of centenarians are Spain, the Czech Republic, France, Canada, and Italy.

Humans will live to 120 if they are relatives of centeranians

Experts are attempting to reveal the environmental and genetic cornerstones that form the basis of those living past 100. Based on the results, science will be able to tell what exactly it is that ensures humans will live to 120. So far, they have found that heredity—whether long longevity runs in the family—is one of the main predictors.

According to Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health, “There’s no way to live up to 110 unless you win the genetic lottery at birth”. But scientists haven’t been able to pin down the genes responsible for extreme human longevity, partly because it’s hard to come up with an adequate sample size for studying supercentenarians.

However, scientists are confident that humans will live to 120, so the studies will increase in robustness.

life expectancy
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Chronological age isn’t always a valid form of measuring health

One major misconception about aging is that growing old automatically entails mental and physical impairments. But experts have found that the presumed connection between age and declining age doesn’t stand up to real-world data.

In fact, according to researchers, most of the problems we’ve come to associate with age aren’t actually due to aging itself but to certain lifestyle decisions we make, like drinking too much, being overweight, or smoking. Those are the things that lead to or cause the disabilities that we see with aging.

What’s interesting is that some recent studies have shown that many people, including those 85 or older, have the same fitness and health profiles as those who are 20 to 30 years younger. In other words, scientists have pointed out that chronological age isn’t a valid form of measuring health.

A fascinating report on supercentenarians is set to be published soon by the Aging Analytics Agency. It will ask and answer important questions to gather more data so the scientists can determine whether humans will live to 120 or even longer in the future.

The research is also set to provide more intimate insights into the lifestyles of supercentenarians alive today, along with first-hand accounts of how they live their lives.

The idea that humans will live to 120 shouldn’t surprise us

The desire to unlock the secrets of immortality has probably been around as long as people’s awareness of death. But high longevity isn’t the same as a long health span, experts explain. As one of them pointed out, the focus shouldn’t be on living past 100 but on living a healthier life.

So, even if the idea that humans will live to 120 is possible, what really matters is maintaining people’s health and finding cures for serious diseases like cancer.

Death isn’t the only thing that matters. There are other things, like quality of life, that start to matter more as people experience their loss. The real question is: Can science extend humans lifespan without also prolonging the proportion of time that people go through a frail state?

While experts may have some indications that humans will live to 120, they have yet to come up with an answer to the question above.

Accessibility to healthcare facilities and medical advances in the last century have helped increase survival rates in various ages. Between 1990 and 2020, the average life expectancy in the US rose by over 30 years due, in part, to multiple health measures.

Also, deaths caused by infectious diseases started to decline after the US began chlorinating drinking water in 1908 to destroy water-borne illnesses like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. The introduction of antibiotics like penicilin in the 20th century also helped slash mortality rates among people with bacterial infections.

According to experts’ estimations, in around 100 years, antibiotics prolonged the average lifespan in the US by 23 years.

life expectancy
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Japan may have some answers

A recent study conducted by Stanford University biologist Sharipad Tuljapurkar and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science showed that the average age of death for those who live past 65 increased by three years in every 25-year period. This means that people can expect to live around six years longer than their grandparents, on average. This somewhat backs up the idea that humans will live to 120.

The same study suggests that experts’ efforts to attempt to increase human lifespan aren’t in vain. In Japan, that already seems to be occurring. Moreover, researchers state that 90 is no longer old in the Japanese sense.

This is likely due to the fact that older people are omnipresent in the country, where one in four citizens is 65 or older—nearly 55,000 of whom are centenarians.

Japan can serve as a good example of what’s possible as other populations across the world mature. While a higher life expectancy means humans will live to 120, it will also mean that the number of those who must move into nursing homes will rise dramatically.

But some experts were quick to point out that so will the number of vigorous, fully engaged senior citizens who are able to live at home unaided and work well into their 80s, 90s, or even 100s.

So, while the idea that humans will live to 120 is possible, we still don’t know exactly which future generations will break this longevity record. More than fifty centenarian Americans have gathered their insights, and the result is this book, which is an inspiring collection of intimate and powerful personal stories.

If you liked our article on the evidence showing humans will live to 120, you may also want to read Can Jurassic Park Become Reality by 2100? Scientists Unlocked the Secrets!


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