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June 08, 2010

Supercentenarian Lifespan is not Fixed and Mortality is Similar to Centenarians

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The Max Planck Institute recently published a book on supercentenarians (people who live beyond 110 years of age)

The International Database of Longevity (IDL) offers detailed information on thoroughly validated cases of supercentenarians. These data are used to estimate human mortality after age 110. The procedure properly accounts for the country-specific sampling frames in the IDL. The analysis confirms that human mortality after age 110 is at at a level orresponding to an annual probability of death of 50%. No sex-speci c differences in mortality could be found, and no time trend in supercentenarian mortality between earlier and later cohorts could be detected.
There are about 400,000 centenarians in the world now. There are a confirmed 77 supercentenarians but with 50% mortality there should statistically be probably 400-600 supercentenarians. Assuming that current progress against aging is maintained (progress does no slow and there are no breakthroughs) then the expectation is for one million centenarians in 2030.

If no progress is made against the 50% annual mortality rate of centenarians and supercentenarians then one would expect the age of longest lived person to be 120 years. There was a french women who lived to 122 but she is a statistical outlier.

If there was progress to enable more and more people to live to 100 and then the 50% annual mortality rate was still present, then when there were 4 billion centenarians one would statistically expect the longest lived to be 132 years of age.

If you could halve the annual mortality rate of centenarians and supercentenarians then the expected maximum lifespan of one billion centenarians would be 160 years. Causes of Death of Centenarians

A study of causes of death of centenarians:

Forty centenarians (11 men, 29 women) were identified with a median age of 102 ± 2.0 (range: 100–108) years. Sixty percent were described as having been healthy before death. However, an acute organic failure causing death was found in 100%, including cardiovascular diseases in 68%, respiratory illnesses in 25%, gastrointestinal disorders in 5%, and cerebrovascular disease in 2%. Additionally, centenarians suffered from several comorbidities (cardiac antecedents, neurologic disorders, liver diseases, cholecystolithiasis), which were not judged to be the cause of death.


This suggests that successful tissue engineering to replace defective organs or stem cell or simple regenerative treatments might reduce the annual mortality rate by 60%.

Exoskeletons like Japan's Hal 5 suit could help centenarians remain mobile and could be used to enable safe exercise and active lifestyles to be maintained.

The SENS life extension research and other life extension research would more directly address increasing longevity for everyone.

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