The term "longevity" is sometimes used as a synonym for "life expectancy" - however, the term "longevity" is sometimes meant to refer only to especially long lived members of a population, whereas "life expectancy" is always defined statistically as the average number of years remaining at a given age.
The word "longevity" is sometimes used as a synonym for "life expectancy" in demography or known as "long life", especially when it concerns someone or something lasting longer than expected.
Life expectancy at birth has risen rapidly during the last century due to a number of factors, including reductions in infant mortality, rising living standards, improved lifestyles and better education, as well as advances in healthcare and medicine.
Economic development and the improvement in some environmental conditions (for example in many urban areas), improved lifestyles, advances in healthcare and medicine, including reduced infant mortality, have resulted in a continuous increase in life expectancy at birth during the last century.
Significant factors in life expectancy include gender, genetics, access to health care, hygiene, diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and crime rates. Evidence-based studies indicate that longevity is based on two major factors, genetics and lifestyle choices. Twin studies have estimated that approximately 20-30% of an individual's lifespan is related to genetics, the rest is due to individual behaviors and environmental factors which can be modified. In addition, it found that lifestyle plays almost no factor in health and longevity after the age of 80, and that almost everything in advanced age is due to genetic factors.
Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?
Women as a rule normally outlive men, and this was as true in pre-industrial times as today. Reasons for this include smaller bodies (and thus less stress on the heart), a stronger immune system (since testosterone acts as an immunosuppressant), and less tendency to engage in physically dangerous activities. It is also theorized that women have an evolutionary reason to live longer so as to help care for grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Recent research from the Long Life Family Study (LLFS) confirms that severe mortality-associated diseases are less prevalent in the families of long-lived individuals than in the general population. (Are Members of Long-Lived Families Healthier than Their Equally Long-Lived Peers-Evidence from the Long Life Family Study) . An international collaborative study of the genetics and familial components of exceptional survival, longevity, and healthy aging.
Researchers found that seven conditions were significantly less common for siblings in a long-lived family, than for similarly aged controls:
Somewhat in contrast, the LLFS siblings were more likely to be receiving care for arthritis, cataract, osteoporosis, and glaucoma. Spouses, offspring and offspring spouses of these long-lived sib-ships shared in the significantly lower risk for Alzheimer's, diabetes, and heart failure. Thus, both genetic and environmental factors appear to be in play. Since most of the offspring generation are not yet seventy-five, it will be fascinating to see whether this early evidence for a health advantage in both genetic and marital relatives of long-lived families strengthens as the cohort ages.
Differences in education, employment opportunities, lifestyle behaviours, social mobility and the wider local environment all have a major impact on male and female longevity. Where we live seems to influence how long we might live. However, wherever we live there are things we can do to improve our chances of living a longer and healthier life.
The U.S. Census Bureau view on the future of longevity is that life expectancy in the United States will be in the mid-80s by 2050 (up from 77.85 in 2006) and will top out eventually in the low 90s, barring major scientific advances that can change the rate of human aging itself, as opposed to merely treating the effects of aging as is done today. However, recent increases in the rates of lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, may drastically slow or reverse this trend toward increasing life expectancy in the developed world.
Some argue that molecular nanotechnology will greatly extend human life spans. If the rate of increase of life span can be raised with these technologies to a level of twelve months increase per year, this is defined as effective biological immortality and is the goal of radical life extension.
The Gerontology Research Group validates current longevity records by modern standards, and maintains a list of super-centenarians; many other unvalidated longevity claims exist.
Record-holding individuals include:
While various other individuals have lived between 110 and 114 years, the above mentioned people are the only ones known to have lived longer than 114. Pre 20th century individuals attaining lifespans of 75 years or greater, include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Cato the Elder, Thomas Hobbes, and Michaelangelo.
Life expectancies in different types of countries:
Population longevities increasing as life expectancies grow:
Average Life Span Expectancy Chart - How Long Will I Live - Ian Langtree - (2015-02-09)
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