On Predicting Longevity

For all the obvious reasons, actuaries would love to be able to predict human longevity with accuracy. But is that possible with present or near-future tools, even setting aside considerations of rapid progress in biotechnologies of rejuvenation? Researcher Leonid Gavrilov here excerpts some of a recent paper on that subject: "Who has a better chance to become a centenarian - a taller or a shorter person? Is it better to be slender or stout? We know that most centenarians are both short and slender in their body build, but these measurements made at older ages could be misleading because they might only reflect body shrinkage as a result of aging. We were also intrigued by other possible predictors of long life. Is it better to be a farmer or an actuary in order to survive to 100? Does the number of children a person has affect their chances to celebrate their 100th birthday? Is it better to have dark eyes or light eyes? All these personal characteristics could be useful for actuaries if a strong association between them and exceptional longevity were to be established."

Link: http://longevity-science.blogspot.com/2008/07/research-news-can-exceptional-longevity.html

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