The mortality rate flattens among the oldest of the old, a study of elderly Italians concludes, suggesting that the oldest humans have not yet reached the limits of life span.
In Acciaroli, a hamlet in southern Italy, about one-in-60 residents are over the age of 90. A survey of about 4,000 Italians found that mortality rates in old age plateau around 105, suggesting that the ceiling for human lifespan has not yet been reached.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times
Since 1900, average life expectancy around the globe has more than doubled, thanks to better public health, sanitation and food supplies. But a new study of long-lived Italians indicates that we have yet to reach the upper bound of human longevity.
“If there’s a fixed biological limit, we are not close to it,” said Elisabetta Barbi, a demographer at the University of Rome. Dr. Barbi and her colleagues published their research Thursday in the journal Science.