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Researches Unveil the Maximum Age Humans Can Live To

Two elderly people standing next to a lime-washed wall on a cobble road; Researches Unveil the Maximum Age Humans Can Live To
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Researchers have discovered the maximum age that human women and men can live to.

A new study conducted by statisticians at Tilburg and Rotterdam’s Erasmus University in the Netherlands discovered that a healthy human’s ceiling for life reaches well over 100 years. For women, the maximum ceiling life span is 115.7 years. For men, the maximum ceiling life span is slightly lower, at 114.1 years. A study of 75,000 people who died in the Netherlands in the last 30 years compiled these numbers.

“On average, people live longer, but the very oldest among us have not gotten older over the last thirty years,” Professor John Einmahl, one of the three statisticians who conducted the research, said (via Medical Express). “There is certainly some kind of a wall here. Of course, the average life expectancy has increased. Nevertheless, the maximum ceiling hasn’t changed.”

This study correlates with a similar study by American researchers, who discovered that a similar lifespan was possible. The American study discovered that a person’s maximum lifespan was unlikely to ever increase beyond 115 years (via Indy 100). However, the longest-living person was Jeanne Louise Calment, a French woman who died at the age of 122. “I’ve waited 110 years to be famous, I count on taking advantage of it,” she said at her 120th birthday party (via the University of Southern California).

Extreme Value Theory, also known as Extreme Value Analysis (EVA), is a branch of statistics that focuses on analyzing the probability of extreme events. EVT dives straight into the rare occurrences that fall at the very tails of the probability distribution, rather than focusing on the typical or average events.

Think of it this way: imagine a bell curve representing the height of people. The distribution of human height clusters around the average, with progressively fewer people as height deviates significantly in either direction (shorter or taller). EVT is concerned with understanding and predicting the likelihood of those unusual heights.

Hold off on the centennial birthday bash! This study didn’t focus on how long you’ll likely live (life expectancy), but rather the maximum potential lifespan a person could reach if they stay healthy.

According to a CDC report for 2021, the average American life expectancy for humans is 76.4 years. Women’s life expectancy is higher than the average at 79.3 years. Men, unfortunately, are lower than average at 73.5 years. The report used the mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographic and medical characteristics of all U.S. residents. This report found that there was a decrease of 0.6 years from the life expectancy reported in 2020.

The study also breaks down the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. The top leading cause of death in 2021 was heart disease. Cancer and COVID-19 were the next leading causes, respectively. 9 of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. are the same as they were in 2020.


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