Risk of Dying Decreases After the Age of 105

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It might sound surprising or counterintuitive to think that as you get older, your chances of dying diminish. A new study shows that the risk of dying won’t increase as we get older.

If you achieve the age of 80’s, your risk of dying will get slower, and this theory is called “late-life mortality deceleration.” The study led by researcher Elisabetta Barbi, at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy, focused on the mortality plateau. The findings were recently published in the journal Science, titled “The plateau of human mortality: Demography of longevity pioneers.”

The mortality plateau

This theory has been highly debated, and scientists have argued that these studies need better data. The studies with a better-quality data haven’t yet found proof that the mortality plateau exists.

However, it is difficult to find many 105-year-olds to live in the same environment and to have been born at around the same time. Moreover, people that are now 105-year-old were born in the early 1900s. This period is known to have had an inaccurate record keeping.

The authors admit that “age exaggeration is common among the oldest old.”

Many other factors added to the ones mentioned above made mortality plateau difficult to find.

Elisabetta Barbi and her team took data from almost 4,000 Italians that were over 105 years old in 2009–2015. The data had a higher quality than previous studies had. For example, centenarians lived most of their lives in the country and were born almost in the same period. The authors concluded that:

“The increasing number of exceptionally longlived people, and the fact that their mortality beyond 105 is seen to be declining across cohorts — lowering the mortality plateau or postponing the age when it appears — strongly suggest that longevity is continuing to increase over time and that a limit, if any, has not been reached.”

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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