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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1073/PNAS.2019536118

Demographic perspectives on the rise of longevity.

02 Mar 2021-Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)-Vol. 118, Iss: 9
Abstract: This article reviews some key strands of demographic research on past trends in human longevity and explores possible future trends in life expectancy at birth Demographic data on age-specific mortality are used to estimate life expectancy, and validated data on exceptional life spans are used to study the maximum length of life In the countries doing best each year, life expectancy started to increase around 1840 at a pace of almost 25 y per decade This trend has continued until the present Contrary to classical evolutionary theories of senescence and contrary to the predictions of many experts, the frontier of survival is advancing to higher ages Furthermore, individual life spans are becoming more equal, reducing inequalities, with octogenarians and nonagenarians accounting for most deaths in countries with the highest life expectancy If the current pace of progress in life expectancy continues, most children born this millennium will celebrate their 100th birthday Considerable uncertainty, however, clouds forecasts: Life expectancy and maximum life span might increase very little if at all, or longevity might rise much faster than in the past Substantial progress has been made over the past three decades in deepening understanding of how long humans have lived and how long they might live The social, economic, health, cultural, and political consequences of further increases in longevity are so significant that the development of more powerful methods of forecasting is a priority

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Topics: Life expectancy (68%), Longevity (57%)
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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41467-021-23894-3
Abstract: Is it possible to slow the rate of ageing, or do biological constraints limit its plasticity? We test the 'invariant rate of ageing' hypothesis, which posits that the rate of ageing is relatively fixed within species, with a collection of 39 human and nonhuman primate datasets across seven genera. We first recapitulate, in nonhuman primates, the highly regular relationship between life expectancy and lifespan equality seen in humans. We next demonstrate that variation in the rate of ageing within genera is orders of magnitude smaller than variation in pre-adult and age-independent mortality. Finally, we demonstrate that changes in the rate of ageing, but not other mortality parameters, produce striking, species-atypical changes in mortality patterns. Our results support the invariant rate of ageing hypothesis, implying biological constraints on how much the human rate of ageing can be slowed.

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Topics: Ageing (51%)

6 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41591-021-01437-Z
Marcia C. Castro1, Susie Gurzenda1, Cassio M. Turra2, Sun Kim1  +2 moreInstitutions (4)
01 Jan 2021-Nature Medicine
Abstract: Brazil has been heavily affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study, we used data on reported total deaths in 2020 and in January–April 2021 to measure and compare the death toll across states. We estimate a decline in 2020 life expectancy at birth (e0) of 1.3 years, a mortality level not seen since 2014. The reduction in life expectancy at age 65 (e65) in 2020 was 0.9 years, setting Brazil back to 2012 levels. The decline was larger for males, widening by 9.1% the female–male gap in e0. Among states, Amazonas lost 60.4% of the improvements in e0 since 2000. In the first 4 months of 2021, COVID-19 deaths represented 107% of the total 2020 figures. Assuming that death rates would have been equal to 2019 all-cause rates in the absence of COVID-19, COVID-19 deaths in 2021 have already reduced e0 in 2021 by 1.8 years, which is slightly larger than the reduction estimated for 2020 under similar assumptions. New estimates of life expectancy at birth and at age 65 years in Brazil reveal substantial declines as a result of COVID-19, bringing mortality back to levels observed 20 or more years ago.

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Topics: Life expectancy (61%), Mortality rate (54%)

5 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1073/PNAS.2025324118
Silvia Rizzi1, James W. Vaupel1Institutions (1)
Abstract: We introduce a method for making short-term mortality forecasts of a few months, illustrating it by estimating how many deaths might have happened if some major shock had not occurred. We apply the method to assess excess mortality from March to June 2020 in Denmark and Sweden as a result of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic; associated policy interventions; and behavioral, healthcare, social, and economic changes. We chose to compare Denmark and Sweden because reliable data were available and because the two countries are similar but chose different responses to COVID-19: Denmark imposed a rather severe lockdown; Sweden did not. We make forecasts by age and sex to predict expected deaths if COVID-19 had not struck. Subtracting these forecasts from observed deaths gives the excess death count. Excess deaths were lower in Denmark than Sweden during the first wave of the pandemic. The later/earlier ratio we propose for shortcasting is easy to understand, requires less data than more elaborate approaches, and may be useful in many countries in making both predictions about the future and the past to study the impact on mortality of coronavirus and other epidemics. In the application to Denmark and Sweden, prediction intervals are narrower and bias is less than when forecasts are based on averages of the last 5 y, as is often done. More generally, later/earlier ratios may prove useful in short-term forecasting of illnesses and births as well as economic and other activity that varies seasonally or periodically.

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4 Citations


Open accessBook ChapterDOI: 10.5772/INTECHOPEN.100001
21 Sep 2021-

3 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S43587-021-00074-Y
Andrew Scott1Institutions (1)
14 Jun 2021-
Abstract: Improvements in life expectancy among high-income countries are increasingly occurring in later years. Efforts to exploit the malleability of age and the additional time longevity brings are already underway, but important roadblocks remain. This article discusses the socioeconomic concept of the longevity dividend, in which healthy and productive aging is achieved through a positive correlation between three dimensions: life expectancy, health and the economy. Investing in a longevity dividend is needed to offset the economic challenges of an aging society and embrace a new life course, but this requires deep-seated changes in individual behavior and corporate and government policies. Focusing on treatments that target delayed aging, supporting employment beyond 50 years of age and tackling ageism are key priorities. This Perspective discusses the socioeconomic concept of the longevity dividend, in which healthy and productive aging is achieved through a positive correlation between three dimensions: life expectancy, health and the economy.

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Topics: Life expectancy (59%), Dividend (55%), Longevity (55%) ... show more

2 Citations


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105 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/J.1558-5646.1957.TB02911.X
George C. Williams1Institutions (1)
01 Dec 1957-Evolution
Abstract: A new individual entering a population may be said to have a reproductive probability distribution. The reproductive probability is zero from zygote to reproductive maturity. Later, perhaps shortly...

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Topics: Reproductive senescence (72%), Antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis (60%), Population (56%) ... show more

3,726 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJM198007173030304
James F. Fries1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The average length of life has risen from 47 to 73 years in this century, but the maximum life span has not increased Therefore, survival curves have assumed an ever more rectangular form Eighty per cent of the years of life lost to nontraumatic, premature death have been eliminated, and most premature deaths are now due to the chronic diseases of the later years Present data allow calculation of the ideal average life span, approximately 85 years Chronic illness may presumably be postponed by changes in life style, and it has been shown that the physiologic and psychologic markers of aging may be modified Thus, the average age at first infirmity can be raised, thereby making the morbidity curve more rectangular Extension of adult vigor far into a fixed life span compresses the period of senescence near the end of life Health-research strategies to improve the quality of life require careful study of the variability of the phenomena of aging and how they may be modified

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Topics: Years of potential life lost (61%), Life expectancy (55%), Compensation law of mortality (54%) ... show more

2,894 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61460-4
03 Oct 2009-The Lancet
Abstract: If the pace of increase in life expectancy in developed countries over the past two centuries continues through the 21st century, most babies born since 2000 in France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the USA, Canada, Japan, and other countries with long life expectancies will celebrate their 100th birthdays. Although trends differ between countries, populations of nearly all such countries are ageing as a result of low fertility, low immigration, and long lives. A key question is: are increases in life expectancy accompanied by a concurrent postponement of functional limitations and disability? The answer is still open, but research suggests that ageing processes are modifiable and that people are living longer without severe disability. This finding, together with technological and medical development and redistribution of work, will be important for our chances to meet the challenges of ageing populations.

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Topics: Population ageing (66%), Life expectancy (56%), Population (51%)

2,781 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMSR043743
Abstract: Forecasts of life expectancy are an important component of public policy that influence age-based entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Although the Social Security Administration recently raised its estimates of how long Americans are going to live in the 21st century, current trends in obesity in the United States suggest that these estimates may not be accurate. From our analysis of the effect of obesity on longevity, we conclude that the steady rise in life expectancy during the past two centuries may soon come to an end.

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Topics: Life expectancy (62%)

2,751 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1126/SCIENCE.1069675
Jim Oeppen1, James W. Vaupel2Institutions (2)
10 May 2002-Science
Abstract: Is human life expectancy approaching its limit? Many--including individuals planning their retirement and officials responsible for health and social policy--believe it is, but the evidence presented in the Policy Forum suggests otherwise. For 160 years, best-performance life expectancy has steadily increased by a quarter of a year per year, an extraordinary constancy of human achievement. Mortality experts have repeatedly asserted that life expectancy is close to an ultimate ceiling; these experts have repeatedly been proven wrong. The apparent leveling off of life expectancy in various countries is an artifact of laggards catching up and leaders falling behind.

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Topics: Life expectancy (64%)

2,311 Citations


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