That Centenarians are Healthier is Unsurprising

In order to live longer, one needs to be more healthy, less impacted by dysfunction and damage, suffer fewer outright age-related diseases. This is what one sees when assessing centenarians against the average of the oldest populations. Aging is damage, and age-related disease is the manifestation of that damage. Different people age at different rates, largely the consequence of lifestyle choice and environmental factors such as exposure to persistent pathogens. It is also possible that genetic variants become more important in very late life by providing greater resilience, but so far the weight of evidence leans more towards lifestyle choice and luck when it comes to the small number of individuals who do survive to a century of age.

Centenarians exhibit extreme longevity and have been postulated, by some researchers, as a model for healthy aging. The identification of the characteristics of centenarians might be useful to understand the process of human aging. In this retrospective study, we took advantage of demographic, clinical, biological, and functional data of deceased individuals between 2014 and 2020 taken from the Basque Health Service electronic health records data lake. Fifty characteristics derived from demographic, clinical, pharmaceutical, biological, and functional data were studied in the descriptive analysis and compared through differences in means tests. Twenty-seven of them were used to build machine learning models in the predictive analysis and their relevance for classifying centenarians was assessed.

Most centenarians were women and lived in nursing homes. Importantly, they developed fewer diseases, took fewer drugs, and required fewer medical attendances. They also showed better biological profiles, exhibiting lower levels of glucose, hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, and triglycerides in blood analysis compared with non-centenarians. In addition, machine learning analyses revealed the main characteristics of the profiles associated with centenarians' status as being women, having fewer consultations, having fewer diagnoses of neoplasms, and having lower levels of hemoglobin.



As morbid as it may appear, one wonders what the typical last stages before death are for the very, very old, otherwise with much of their other faculties intact. It is presumed to be organ failure and it is presumed that it was decided to not replace/ bypass that organ, medically, at a certain advanced stage/ time. Is it possible to measure the functionality of that (or any) organ at the 'point of no return', thus sustaining a minimal functionality; perhaps constantly stepping back through the cascading steps of other failures - if indeed a cascade of organ and system failures, and their inherent 'points of no return' could be followed at such a level of detail. Though it may appear ghoulish to consider maintaining the self, as found within the brain, merely by the never-ending 'crash-repair' method of sustaining its supporting systems - though is that any less valid (or effective) than cryopreservation? I suppose that is 'staving off death' from the other direction; taking one back from The Point, slowly back to increasing (though minimal) functionality. Perhaps it would be the knowledge gained of which organs (and what damage/ dysfunction) are most important to focus on as 'damage control'. It is likely that the Site Author may protest this as a distraction and diversion of funds and expertise from anti-aging mechanisms that allowed things to 'get this far'. My 2c.

Posted by: Jer at February 20th, 2023 2:39 PM

@Jer I've considered what I think you're proposing. Basically, the idea is if death in very old age is caused by organ system failure, if all organs were constantly monitored, and methods to revive organs when they crash were kept closely available (like a 'crash cart' for the heart, etc), then perhaps even a centenarian with a 50% annual mortality rate could still be kept alive for many years.

Obviously this is not optimal, because quality of life would be low, but it could perhaps be a stepping stone for the old individual to a point of future regenerative therapies (Even in in cases of dementia this might be of value, since future therapies could restore lost cognitive function.) Might this work?

Posted by: K at February 24th, 2023 3:27 PM

"It is also possible that genetic variants become more important in very late life by providing greater resilience, but so far the weight of evidence leans more towards lifestyle choice and luck when it comes to the small number of individuals who do survive to a century of age."

This is simply not true at all. You are clearly not familiar with the works of Nir Barzilai, Vera Gorbunova and many others. In fact, Centenarians have extremely UNHEALTHY lifestyles, with more than half of them having been heavy smokers for 50 years or more, and eating whatever they want.
Conversely, there is NO evidence whatsoever that lifestyle choices play any role in exceptional longevity. Lifestyle choices are very important for one to reach a normal age of death, at least for people wihout longevity genetic variants. But there is NO evidence that by eating right, not smoking and exercising an average person can live to 100 or over.
And furthermore, there is no evikdence that senolytic therapy, which you champion, can extend lifespan in Humans. Studies extrapolated from mice are terrible because mice tend to be super-responders to almost anything that you give to them. Their liver enzymes are much simpler than ours, and their cells are not as strictly regulated as ours for metabolism(bexause Evolution did not design them to live as long). There is also no evidence that caloric restriction in Humans can extend lifespan like in mice. Protein restriction seems more effective, akthough marginally.
Reading through your site, it is pretty obvious that you follow the SENS philosophy. In fact, I have a very strong suspicion that you are Michael Rae. It's too bad for you, because the SENS approach is not only unfeasible, but requires a level of biotechnology that is way ahead of what we are capable now on in the foreseable future,

Posted by: PeterC Rockford at February 25th, 2023 7:50 PM
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