One For the Actuaries in the Audience

From aging researcher Leonid Gavrilov, a pointer to a collection of articles on aging and longevity from the perspective of the Society of Actuaries. As a few minutes browsing will lead you to note, the present day process of determining mortality rates and statistics of aging is anything but easy or cut and dried. You might find the following PDF-format papers from the collection interesting:

The Great Debate on the Outlook for Human Longevity:

Several leading gerontologists are engaged in a spirited and even vituperous debate regarding the prospects for human longevity. The issue is what life expectancy will be just after mid-century in the industrialized countries, and, more particularly, in the United States in 2060. The debate on the future of life expectancy is closely linked to such issues as the possibilities for extending average recorded human life span, the existence of limits to human life span and life expectancy, the form of the trajectory of age-specific mortality rates at the highest ages of life and the utility of developing projections of mortality on the basis of causes of death

Search for Predictors of Exceptional Human Longevity:

Centenarians (people living to 100 and beyond) represent the fastest growing age group of the American population, with obvious implications for actuarial science and practice. Yet, factors predicting exceptional longevity and its time trends remain to be fully understood.

Actuarial circles seem fairly conservative with respect to healthy life extension, rather like a large portion of the gerontology community. If this selection of articles is any guide, most actuaries regard it as somewhat radical to suggest that current trends in human longevity may continue, never mind greatly accelerate due to funding of serious anti-aging medicine.

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