An Illustration of the Cost of Aging on Individual Health and Survival

The field of aging research could do with more of its scientists choosing to write for laypeople; the more outreach the better. This short column by researcher Steven Austad illustrates one way of looking at aging - that it is all about the mortality rate at a given age, and the inexorable rise of that mortality rate over time, caused by the accumulation of cell and tissue damage. By this metric an individual at age 40 or 50 is already significantly impacted by the processes of aging in comparison with an individual at age 20, manifesting as an increased mortality rate. Given this, there is every chance that a half-way decent first generation rejuvenation therapy would be of some benefit to people at age 40, those the medical establishment currently designates as being in perfect health, but who nonetheless have a mortality rate that is considerably higher than is the case for people at age 20.

I have a pill. If you decide to take my pill, you immediately stop aging and are preserved in your current physical state from this day forward. This hypothetical pill that stops aging, call it the Methuselah pill, will not make you immortal. Immortality does not exist in this world. Whether or not you age, you can still step in front of a bus, eat a contaminated hamburger, catch a stray bullet, or be struck by lightning. In fact, if you lived long enough one of these things would almost be guaranteed to happen to you.

One way that scientists define aging is that it increases the chance that you will die in the coming year. In America, your chance of dying doubles every 8 years after about age 35. But with the Methuselah pill that no longer happens. You have the same chance of dying, you look the same, you feel the same, as the age at which you took the pill, forever. Would you want to be frozen in time with the physical looks, the energy, strength and agility you had when you were 20? Give this some careful thought because half of you - the male half - may remember 20 as the testosterone-soaked age at which you were more than a little crazy. Maybe you'd like to be preserved at age 50, when people will take you more seriously. You would be more settled in life, a bit more thoughtful, a bit less swift.

One thing to consider. The age you choose to stop aging has a great deal to do with how much longer you can expect to live. A little simple algebra with U.S. government statistics shows that with a 20 year old male survival rate lasting into infinity, your life expectancy is another 600 years rather than the 57 years it is in reality. Not a bad bargain for staying a little crazy. If you're a woman, you're not so crazy at that age and you are also better designed for survival than your male counterparts. That's a sad fact of biology, men. You could expect to survive another 1700 years rather than 62 years you can expect in reality, nearly three times as long as those crazy men. I know it doesn't sound fair, fellows, but age 20 is when the survival advantage of women over men is close to its greatest.

If you decided to stop aging when you are a dignified and mature 50 year-old, you will have sacrificed a lot of future years to achieve that dignified look. Fifty year olds are about 6 times more likely to die in a given year than 20 year olds. Not only that, but you could expect to live with some aches and pains that you didn't anticipate. You won't hear as well and will probably be holding the newspaper or your smart phone at arm's length, but at least that testosterone problem will no longer be so pressing. Your life expectancy, however, has dropped to a mere 140 years if you're a man and a little over 200 years if you're a woman. Ladies, that decision to stop aging at 50 rather than 20 has cost you 1500 years of life expectancy and a considerable amount of pain. You suspected it was a bad decision, didn't you?

The point of this exercise, I suppose, besides having a little fun and stimulating a little thought is to give readers a visceral feel for the toll that aging exacts on us. Back here in the real world, there has been only one confirmed 120 year old person, a woman naturally, in the history of our species. No one yet has approached even 130 years, although some of us researchers are working to change that.



My bet is that someone will live longer than the current record of 122 and some days sometime yet this Century. It will be a woman, as men live 5 years less long on average than women. In fact, eight of nine people who make 100 are women. Thus, men face staggering mathematical odds to become the first to break the current age record.

Posted by: Biotechy at December 25th, 2017 8:03 AM

Hi Biotechy ! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ahead.

I agree, the first to break that record will be a woman, it is 90% sure because as you said 9 out of 10 supercentenarians (and even just centenarians) are women, that's a strike against men (For being born men but that's how it is, we have how gender body difference and live with that; one lives longer but has to birth; while the other lives less long but does not have to birth (pregnant); life chose the birthing one because of specie survival, without her we don't even exist, and of course without us and the male sexual organ, there is no children either for sperm is needed just as much as an egg ovule; though, on this, it may change in the future; I would not be surprise if in the future men can have childre - alone - or like in a only 'male couple/gay' or likewise an only female gay couple; in vitro 'baby in a lab' is gonna come and be Curfewed like the hell (because of eugenics 'supposedly best' ethnicity which brings to race card purity/ethics again and because of Pro-life people and others who Oppose killing child embryo/oppose abortion and pill. Lots of ethic wars ahead sadly but it's understandable, these are complex questions that cannot be resolved with a yes/no as they touch us all and are very much full of Catch-22s (do this, can't do that, do that, can't do this....dmned if you do or don'T))). Women preserve biology better, longer, more neotenous longer, less IGF, less body growth/muscle like male testosterone 'big muscle body' = less mTOR/fitness activation (mTOR controls muscle fiber through IGF/EGFand other GFs with sexual growth hormones and steroidal growth hormones) less senescence unlike a young male mTOR full. Double XX female chromosome, less chromose unpacking more genomic sturdyness, men Xy that crummy y genetically-empty is our doom as it compromises our genetic from birth just 'being for being born boy' But I'm not going to self-pity, females have it just as hard there's not easy path in life, we have our differences but life in future will equalize this strongly, men/women; women/men, no more advantages or whatnot, won't make any difference anymore, all will reap the power of the rejuvenation/genetics.

Check this :

SuperDuper centenarians making claims of 143, 165, 179 years old...dubious much. The gerontological socities debunk them one after another (currentl 122 stands, though it may have been beatean with someone living 123 or 125 or so (out of of all these extra-long lived people surely one has 'approached' Jeanne Calment for sure; and might beaten her, but not much more (like 1 or 2 years tops but 130; is basically non-existing and the people at that age are complete 'cadavers', thus to think someone lived 160 is near-nigh impossible since, they would be realllly beat down you know, not much left but 'the bones' and 'some skin' on them))). Btw it's incredible that you have reached the age of 77 years old, Congrat, you are probably the most elder on here and it's such heart warming to know people of great age (in the good sense) to take care and want to shift their focus from 'I'm tired of living (and aching) When will I die...please I want to die....(if they hurt, I understand...but some don'T and like had enough means it 's a question of health/quality of life bsaically))).

Just a 2 cent.


Posted by: CANanonymity at December 25th, 2017 11:59 AM

PS: the common elements among them:

- come from poorer family (except J.Calment she's the exception and also, ironically, lived the longest though not so ironic she could 'buy' medical care others poor ones could not)
- illeterate/uneducated (or let's say not much)
- into menial tasks (mostly women into soft stuff at home, and do ktichen work and not 'bureau' work - too stressing...all of them unstressed)
- happy, Never stressed out - sleep pattern monotonous - 7 hours each night not 1 minute less and will even skip their own birthday if they miss 1 minute of sleep. Life on the slow lane, very.
- many of them smoked, I laugh when I read this, for like a century and no problem. Except, 99% of the rest pop it is a prob because they don't share genetic lucky pot of gold.
- ate stuff that is more 'natural'
- Because were poor, did not ear junk food or 'modern foods' full of chemicals, only ate 'Farm stuff. you know 'natural' veggies, meditatrenean diet, fruits, some of them did
eat utter junk (bacon crispy, cholesterol laden stuff...made it perfectfly (me it nearly killed me)))
- See some patterns reveal themselves
- Some had kids, quite a few actually which is strange because kids is a costly endeavor of female body but less on male body; it reduces lifespan of a woman (because of sex vs repair resource cost translocation; as was shown in a study that saw mitochodrial lesion increase when high gravidity women (4 pregnancies or more))). My guess ,is that these women, are utterly 'age-proof' nothing touches them and they were easily 2 decades yougner than their chronological age as such they had much 'telomere fodder' protection 'ahead' of the other right at birth.
- But the biggest element : don't stress lief - stress kills you, increases cortisol/adreno axis and truly is harmful (TNF-a rises as you get stressed/hormones are both a good thing and bad thing (they activate telomerase yet are double-edged sword for are in tandem with adreno-pituitary/cortisol/growth hormone axis), simply put, being stress out = senescence))) And in our stressful lives/workplace today, we are not helping ourselves.

Posted by: CANanonymity at December 25th, 2017 12:15 PM

Revealing Numbers: (in the space of one year, from 110 to 111, the numbers drops by half telling you small your chances are of reaching 112; and if you think 116 is easy peasy, check the drop from 112 to 116,, there is nearly a 'halving' each 1 year extra that's how dramatic the numbers of supercentenarians shrink with each passing 1 year and tells of micro-odds of making it. So a thousand fold difference between 110 and 123)

110 years old : 800+
111 years old : 400+
112 years old : 200+
113 years old : 114
114 years old : 53
115 years old : 17
116 years old : 8
117 years old : 5
118 years old : 3
119 years old : 3
120 years old : 2
121 years old : 1
122 years old : 1
123>years old : 0

Posted by: CANanonymity at December 25th, 2017 1:26 PM

Its my understanding that only about 4-5 of the top well documented longest lived people were males, and only one (Japanese) reached a few days over 117.

Posted by: Biotechy at December 25th, 2017 1:46 PM

Exactly, the large majority don't make it past 116. And that one with 117. It's not good news for us dudes, but...who knows these are people that are born so long ago that you know many things changes, epigenetics, genetics whatever, offspring in follow generations - in a century the 'make up' changes; thus it could Better or Worse (as in certain studies saying 'we capped the cap' for males, and as such, now we are seeing a 'Regressing. Males would live Less than 117 because it is the Penultimate (and people die of cancer and other 'late life' complications much more than long ago since people died early back then - except for these born-long ago supercentenarians of today) but there is small detail missing : the medical cares and the advancement offered today; and especially Tomorrow Later in a decade or so; will change that and thus, offer once again, the chance for men to reach as long as women (though it will still be a 'handicap' it will lessened even further because of rejuvenation. Men will definitely, finally, reach the 122 too (I cannot believe that you can't go from 117 to 122, it's just 5 years and; the odds on this table do not point to that (because your odds of reaching 122 drop dramatically each subsequenet year) - but the lack the future therapy ingredient as a factor in these statistics is the missing element, and will alter them)))).

Posted by: CANanonymity at December 25th, 2017 2:55 PM

These numbers, although impressive, will hopefully soon be decoupled from their biological associations - frailty, aged phenotype, death. The gender discrepancy of average and maximum lifespan will then become irrelevant. I don't think this is a biological phenomenon anyway - it just reflects that males in general have a riskier and unhealthier lifestyle - at least that explains the average lifespan advantage. Regarding maximum lifespan I don't know why females should have an advantage here - maybe because they have two copies of X? Because you know the Y is crippled in comparison and does not give males extra good genes, but instead robs the males of the extra copies of X genes. Otherwise males and females should have no advantage over each other, the supercentenerians probably have a similar set of alleles that protect them.

Posted by: K. at December 25th, 2017 5:37 PM
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