Thursday, July 01, 2010

The standard human lifespan is 88

Amidst all the coverage about genetic markers for long lived people, evidence that the maximal average lifespan is about 88:
BBC News - Genes predict living beyond 100 
... To live the additional 10-15 years beyond the age of 88, our paper is indicating that genetics are playing an increasingly important role.'
The scientists said that, when it came to genes associated with a predisposition to age-related diseases, centenarians and non-centenarians did not really differ.
'This is very surprising,' said Professor Sebastiani. 'It suggests that what makes these people live a very long life is not a lack of genetic predisposition to diseases, but rather an enrichment of longevity.'
So if one gets good medical care and avoids bad luck and bad habits, then the average person white American [1] can probably get to 88. To live much beyond 88 you need to have a slower than average aging rate.

Update: [1] I haven't seen this paper, but an earlier article by the same group suggests they were studying white Americans. This biological age limit may differ between human gene groups. I bet it does.

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