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Can Humans Live Past 125? Probably Not, Research Suggests

Oct 06, 2016 05:23 AM EDT

A new study revealed that the maximum lifespan of humans will less likely to increase despite the continuous rise in life expectancy.

The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that the human lifespan has a natural limit. Their findings show that the maximum life span of humans is fixed at 115 but can rarely reach upmost 125. The study also suggests that even if humans continue to develop cures for diseases afflicting older people and extend life expectancy, the maximum lifespan will remain the same and will not change.

"Biologists always strongly suspected that maximum lifespan was genetically determined and specific to the species," explained Jan Vijg, genetics and aging researcher and one of the authors of the study, in a report from NBC News. "A mouse in the wild doesn't live more than seven, eight months or so. But if you take those mice and keep them in captivity and optimal conditions, they die when they are two years old or so. But they die. And that is because of the aging process."

For the study, the researchers analyzed global demographic data from 41 countries around the globe. They discovered that improvements in survival with age tend to decline after 100 years old. Furthermore, the age of death of the world's oldest person has not increased since the 1990s. Due to their findings, the researchers have reason to believe that the maximum lifespan of humans is fixed and subject to natural constraints.

To further their analysis, the researchers aanalyzed the so-called super-agers, or those people who live to be 110 or older. Due to relatively small numbers of these super-agers, there is no conclusive data on their death rates. However, the researchers noted that the age of death in this group seems to have plateaued as well around 1995, according to Business Insider.

At present, there are about 150 people over 110 years old all over the world. The researchers believe that this group is very rare with only one in five million people. On the other hand, the chances of people living beyond 125 years of age in any given year are about one in 10,000.

The oldest person in record is Jeanne Calment, a 122-year-old French woman who died in 1997.

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