It’s considered an inescapable fact of life: the older you get, the more likely death becomes. But a new research conucted in Germany disproves of that suggestinh that the chances of dying may level off – at least for those who make it to 105 years old.
The study found that death rates, which rise exponentially in adulthood, begin to decelerate after 80 years old and appear to eventually plateau, or even decline slightly, after the age of 105. By that point, the chances of passing away in a given year are approximately 50-50.
“It’s the equivalent of tossing a coin each year,” said Prof Jim Vaupel, a specialist in ageing at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany and one of the authors. The findings add fuel to an unusually hostile debate between two camps of scientists, who are locked in an escalating dispute about whether humans are approaching their upper limit in terms of lifespan.
The latest paper, from Vaupel’s team who argue there is no evidence of a looming longevity limit, is based on data tracking the survival trajectories of almost 4,000 Italians older than 105 between 2009 and 2015. And they believe it bolsters their position. “If [mortality] stays constant, as more and more people survive to very old ages, the record will be broken,” said Vaupel.