Scientists explain why humans can’t live forever

(ORDO NEWS) — An international group of scientists has refuted the myth that a person’s youth and life can be extended almost indefinitely through lifestyle changes.

According to the results, published in the journal Nature Communications, in humans and related animals, the rate of mortality at a later age is strictly determined by the biological properties of the organism.

It is known that the maximum life expectancy of a person has been growing since the middle of the 19th century by about three months a year.

A further increase in life expectancy depends on whether it is possible in any way to reduce mortality at a later age.

However, correlations between the rate of aging and other characteristics of the life cycle (mortality before maturation, age of first reproduction, birth rate) in different animal species indicate that the rate of aging is fixed, and death, with the exclusion of environmental factors, will occur at approximately the same time. late age.

Additional evidence for the hypothesis of an invariant aging rate can be a clear relationship between life expectancy at birth and the distribution of age at death in the population (the so-called life expectancy equality).

In most developed countries, death most often occurs late in life, resulting in low dispersion in life expectancy and high equity in life expectancy.

To test the invariant rate of aging hypothesis, scientists collected a large set of age-specific mortality data from several populations of different primate genera, including African monkeys (two genera), Central American and South American monkeys (one genus), great apes (two genera), and indriids (Madagascar lemurs).

The researchers also examined birth and death data from nine different human populations in Europe, the Caribbean, and Ukraine in the 17th-20th centuries, as well as two groups of hunter-gatherers from 1900-2000.

In all cases, the authors found the same general pattern: a high risk of death in infancy, which declines rapidly in immaturity and adolescence, remains low until early adulthood, and then steadily increases in old age.

Moreover, all observed differences in life expectancy and life expectancy equality are explained by variations in the mortality of young individuals, and not by heterogeneous mortality throughout life.

The results support the hypothesis of an invariant rate of aging, which imposes biological limits on the prolongation of youth and life.

As the authors of the article conclude, it is not yet known whether medical advances in the future will be able to overcome the biological limit of life expectancy and achieve what evolution has not been able to achieve.


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