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  #121  
Old 07-18-2018, 08:19 AM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...715-story.html

Quote:
Is a 150-year-old human possible?
Neither side folding in Great Longevity Wager
Spoiler:
It’s possible that someone reading this column now, on the second weekend of July 2018, will be alive to see the resolution of a $1 billion bet between Jay Olshanksy, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor of public health, and Steven Austad, chairman of biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Eighteen years ago, the two friends began their discussion on an issue that long has intrigued scientists and laymen alike: What is the limit of the human life span? Given that advances in medicine and nutrition dramatically lengthened average life expectancy over the 20th century, where is the ultimate horizon? Will the longevity record — now held by Jeanne Calment of France, who was 122 years old when she died in 1997 — keep getting broken?

Austad, whose research focuses on aging, had made a bold prediction at an academic conference: In the year 2150, he said, there will be a 150-year-old human.

Olshansky, also an expert on aging, wasn’t having it.

They decided to make it interesting. They each put $150 into an investment fund and signed a contract specifying that the heirs of the winner will cash it out in 2150.

Early published reports on the wager said the payoff would be from $200 million to $500 million given good market returns, but the men have since doubled their initial investments and they now estimate the final jackpot at roughly $1 billion.

Since they made wager in 2000, average human life spans have inched up, but, interestingly, the longevity record of 122 still stands. In fact no one with a verified birth date has come within three years of Calment’s mark since she died 21 years ago in August. In this century, no one has even reached age 118 before expiring.

I had a chance encounter with Olshansky in the green room at WTTW-Ch. 11 earlier this year and asked him if, in light of the galloping progress of medicine on all fronts, he was having any second thoughts about his position.

None, he said. If anything he’s more certain than ever that his descendants — he has one grandchild so far — will be made fabulously wealthy.

In a follow-up interview he explained: “There will certainly be breakthroughs that will slow many of the biological processes of aging. We’ll be able to extend the number of years that people can live in good health.”

But, he added, “the brain is our Achilles heel. There’s still no evidence to suggest that we’ll be able to halt the effects of the daily loss of nonreplicating neurons, much less reverse it. We can replace hips, knees, hearts and so on, but we can’t replace the brain.”

Those with aspirations to rival Methuselah should accordingly be careful what they wish for, Olshansky said. “Life extension without health extension is a disaster.”

He said, “With early interventions, we might someday see a person live to 130, but that’s adding eight years to the current record and I really don’t see it happening.”

Even if that were to happen, the last person born in the 2000s — the last person with a chance to be 150 in the year 2150 and win the bet for Austad — will be dead in 2130. In that year, a precocious and genetically blessed 5-year-old reading this column in 2018 will be 117. At that point, Olshansky’s heirs could reasonably claim victory.

Won’t happen, said Austad.

He, too, believes more firmly than ever in his position.

“We’re discovering more and more ways every year to make mice live longer through drugs and diet,” he said. “A 150-year-old person is only about 20 percent older than the current record holder, and we’ve found dozens of ways to extend the lives of mice by that much. Not all of them will work with humans, of course, but if any of them do, we’re going to see dramatic results.”

Austad mentioned two drugs that he says have shown particular promise in boosting longevity — rapamycin, an immunosuppressant that helps prevent rejection in transplant patients, and metformin, a prescription medication commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

“Those are my two top candidates,” he said. “But there are a ton of others lining up to enter human trials, and I’m confident there are still more that we don’t know about yet that will be yield breakthroughs. People born today will have a life expectancy of 100.”

It’s now about 80.

“All we have to do in the next 30 years is find drugs that dramatically slow the underlying causes of aging,” Austad said. “If we give them to people approaching 50, some are going to reach the extreme of 150.”

My heart is with Austad, but my head is with Olshansky. And my hopes for the future are vested in 5-year-olds who read the newspaper.
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  #122  
Old 08-10-2018, 01:12 PM
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https://twitter.com/JournalPMacLean/...68390842589185

Quote:
Colin Roger MacLean


@JournalPMacLean

There were no obituaries in today's paper. People are calling, wondering what happened to them. Just ... nobody died.
Of course, that was yesterday. I go to their paper's tweets:
https://twitter.com/JournalPEI

https://twitter.com/JournalPEI/statu...09380598059008


But that's in New Brunswick, not Prince Edward Island.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Edward_Island

Population: Estimate (2018 Q2) 153,116

Yeah, that's low enough I can see nobody dying on a specific day. Checking death rates:
https://knoema.com/atlas/Canada/Death-rate

Canada's death rate has been 7.5 per 1,000 on an annual basis, so one expects 1148 deaths per year in PEI, or 3.15 deaths per day... if we assume # of deaths in a day is Poisson-distributed with expected value of 3.15, probability of 0 deaths is 4.3%. Low, but not too low.

Of course, death rates are higher in the winter than in the summer, so if we assume the deaths/day only averages 2 in summer, the probability of 0 deaths is 14%.
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  #123  
Old 08-22-2018, 12:23 PM
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https://www.ai-cio.com/news/global-l...ovements-slow/

Quote:
Global Life Expectancy Improvements Slow Down
US had greatest slowing in life expectancy at birth for males from 2011 to 2016.


Spoiler:
A slowdown in life expectancy improvements has been observed in several countries in Europe, North America, and Australia, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), which compared recent trends in mortality in 20 countries. Lower life expectancies typically mean lower costs for pension plans.

According to the ONS, the UK experienced steady improvements in life expectancy at birth throughout the 20th century, which it attributed to improvements in treating infectious diseases, health improvements in the population as it ages, advances in medical care, and behavioral changes such as a reduction in the rate of smoking.

However, the decreases in UK mortality rates have been slowing over the past seven years. Between 2011 and 2016, the UK experienced one of the largest slowdowns in improvements in life expectancy at birth and at age 65 years for both men and women, which included a sharp rise in deaths in 2015 that led to the first reduction this century in UK life expectancy at birth.

The research found that the UK wasn’t alone in experiencing this trend.

Improvements in life expectancy in the US were down 87%, to 1.5 weeks per year from 11.2 weeks, the second-lowest improvements of all countries in the ONS’ last six years of data. In five other countries, females experienced a slowdown of 40% or higher: the Netherlands (47%), Sweden (45%), Germany (45%), France (43%), and Canada (40%).

Of the 20 countries studied, males aged 80 years and over in the UK experienced the largest relative improvement in mortality rates between 2001 and 2011, improving approximately 21% over the period. Between 2011 and 2016, mortality rates for males aged 80 years and over in the UK leveled out, improving by 2% over the six-year period. Only three of the countries have seen the same or less of an improvement than the UK in the second period. France also saw mortality rates decline by 2%, Germany experienced no improvement and Portugal experienced a rise of 1%.

The slowdown in improvements in mortality was observed most widely for 65- to79-year-olds across the 20 countries analyzed, while women have been more affected overall by the slowdown than men have.

From 2000 to 2011, there was a marked increase in life expectancy for the majority of the 20 countries studied. Throughout the period, the average improvement in life expectancy at birth for the countries was 13.1 weeks per year for males, and 9.4 weeks per year for females. However, from 2011 to 2016, there was a slowing in improvements as life expectancy for males on average improved by 10.4 weeks per year and for females by 6.7 weeks per year.

The greatest slowing in life expectancy at birth for males was experienced by the US, dropping almost 90% from 14.1 weeks per year from 2005 to 2010 to 1.5 weeks per year from 2010 to 2015. The UK was right behind, as improvements plunged nearly 76% to 4.2 weeks per year from 2011 to 2016, from 17.3 weeks per year from 2006 to 2011. The other countries that saw a large slowdown were Spain (37%), Germany (36%), Portugal (32%), and Sweden (31%).

Switzerland, however, which had the highest life expectancy at birth for males, and the third-highest for females in 2016, did not see a slowdown. It experienced 12.5 weeks per year improvements in both reference periods for males, and a slight reduction from 7.3 weeks to 6.2 weeks per year for females.

There were some countries that had greater improvements in the second period than the first, such as Japan, which had the largest increase in improvements in life expectancy at birth between the two time periods for both males (5.3 weeks to 16.2 weeks per year) and females (1.8 weeks to 13.3 weeks per year). The ONS said this may indicate that Japan is in a slightly advanced position compared with other countries in its demographic trends, having experienced a slowdown between 2006 and 2011, and is now seeing greater improvements in recent years.

Meanwhile, most Nordic countries, excluding Sweden, did not experience a slowdown in improvements in life expectancy at birth. Norway saw a large increase in improvements between the two periods for males (9.0 weeks to 16.7 weeks per year), and a small decrease for females (8.1 weeks to 7.5 weeks per year). Denmark saw improvements rise for males (12.3 weeks to 16.6 weeks per year) and females (9.2 weeks to 14.0 weeks per year), while Finland had a large increase in improvements for males (12.4 weeks to 19.8 weeks per year) and a slight improvement for females (9.8 weeks to 9.9 weeks per year).
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  #124  
Old 08-27-2018, 03:31 PM
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https://www.actuaries.org/IAA/Docume..._BRidsdale.pdf

Quote:
A Preview of:
What Happened to Improving Longevity?
We know US and UK are seeing a slowdown - Where else – and why?
What do we know about the causes and drivers of change?
Are these indications a trend or a blip? Are there similarities internationally?
Brian Ridsdale br@ridsdales.com ICA Wednesday afternoon
Adrian Gallop Adrian.Gallop@gad.gov.uk
Alan Evans Alan.Evans@ons.gov.uk

.....
Conclusions
22
Longevity improvements have slowed down in most countries
Underlying causes unlikely to disappear
 Excess winter mortality
 “External causes”
 Opioids,
 Cardiovascular/circulatory/stroke gains slackening
 Dementia and Alzheimer’s mixed
 Poverty and the widening socio-economic gap
 Austerity
Impact on insured and pensioner populations differ:
different subsets of the population
exposure by “amounts” higher for higher socio-economic groups
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  #125  
Old 08-28-2018, 05:49 PM
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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKCN1L723R

Quote:
Life expectancy declines seen in U.S. and other high-income countries

Spoiler:
(Reuters Health) - Life expectancy is declining in high-income countries worldwide, driven in part by the effects of the opioid epidemic on younger adults in the U.S. and the impact of a severe flu season on older adults in other nations, two new studies suggest.

A man is seen in silhouette walking a dog at Cunningham Park in the Queens borough of New York U.S., January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Life expectancy is a measure of the health and wellbeing of a population. Widespread or sustained declines in life expectancy may signal problems in a nation’s social and economic conditions or in the provision or quality of its healthcare services, researchers write in The BMJ.

The first study looked at trends across 18 high-income countries and found that most countries experienced declines in life expectancy in 2015. This is the first time in recent decades that so many high-income countries simultaneously experienced declines in life expectancy for both men and women.

Out of 18 countries in the study, 12 experienced life expectancy declines among men and 11 experienced life expectancy declines among women.

“This hasn’t occurred in decades, and the size of these most recent declines were larger than prior declines,” said study co-author Jessica Ho of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

A particularly severe influenza season drove declines outside the U.S. in 2014-2015, primarily among adults 65 and older, the study found. In addition to flu and pneumonia, the main causes of death in these countries were associated with an aging population and included other respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease as well as other mental and nervous system disorders.

Most of these countries reversed their life-expectancy decline in the 2015-2016 period, but in the U.S. and the UK, the declines continued, the authors note.

In the U.S., the source of reduced life-expectancy was concentrated at younger ages, particularly deaths among those in their 20s and 30s, and largely driven by increases in drug-overdose deaths related to the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic.

A second study in The BMJ suggests, however, that the problems driving life expectancy declines in the U.S. are broader than just the opioid crisis and may extend to a wide range of causes unrelated to drug use or substance abuse.

People are seen in silhouette underneath the Manhattan Bridge during sunny weather in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
“A leading cause is fatal drug overdoses - fueled by the opioid epidemic - but we make a mistake if we focus only on the drug problem, which is just the tip of the iceberg,” said lead study author Dr. Steven H. Woolf of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

“Deaths from alcoholism and suicides have also increased, what some call deaths of despair,” Woolf said by email.

Even worse, the study found rising midlife death rates from dozens of diseases of the heart, lungs, digestive systems and other organs. It even found rising death rates during pregnancy and early childhood, Woolf said.

“Something far-reaching is affecting the health of Americans in the prime of their lives,” Woolf said.

Neither study was a controlled experiment designed to prove what specific factors might be influencing declines in health or life expectancy in the U.S. and other countries.

Still, taken together, these studies highlight a need for high-income countries to invest more in preventing disease outbreaks and addressing persistent social and health inequalities, said Domantas Jasilionis of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.

“Although a part of this health disadvantage of lower socioeconomic classes is explained by ‘traditional’ risk factors such as poor diet, alcohol and smoking, the question remains why these people have a higher risk of choosing such health damaging behaviors,” Jasilionis, author of an editorial accompanying the studies, said by email.

“There is strong evidence that psychological factors, often having social origins including social exclusion, poor prospects for social mobility, and high income inequality are the main contributors to these ‘bad choices,’ especially in the lowest socioeconomic groups,” Jasilionis added.

At the population level, maintaining steady gains in life expectancy is challenging because it requires reductions in mortality at increasingly advanced ages, Jasilionis writes in the editorial.

“At the individual level, life span also depends on a range of lifestyle choices, including continuous education throughout the whole life,” Jasilionis added by email. “Good knowledge of health risks and awareness about our own health status is a key for a longer life.”
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  #126  
Old 09-06-2018, 05:50 AM
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WORKING LIFE EXPECTANCY

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-age-fa...tion-life.html
Quote:
Official retirement age is not the only factor that determines the duration of working life

Spoiler:
The life expectancy of human beings continues to increase. While this is good news for the individual, it does cause difficulties for the pension system. This is why experts as well as some politicians call for the retirement age to be raised further. However, the actual duration of working life is determined only in part by the retirement age defined by the government. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research are exploring the impact of other factors such as profession, gender, level of education and the economic situation. Analogous to life expectancy, they strive to estimate the working life expectancy based on these aspects.

On paper it is currently 65 years and seven months. This is the age when a German employee can enter retirement without suffering financial losses. The average German, however, enters retirement before they turn 62. That is more than three years earlier. There is a notable gap between official entitlement and reality, when it comes to the retirement age, and this is true not only for Germany but also for most other industrial countries. On top of this, many people spend periods of time throughout their working life, in which they are not gainfully employed – due to illness, unemployment, training or retraining measures, raising children or caring for relatives.

For the domain of politics it is essential to know, how much of their lives citizens spend actually working. After all, this is what determines the income of the government and social insurance funds. At the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Mikko Myrskylä's team of scientists is working on gathering reliable data about the duration of the working life. Their area of research "Labour Demography" has examined for different nations, when employees are entering retirement, what the reasons are for retiring from their profession earlier than intended, and which long-term developments are beginning to emerge.

The basic rule is as follows: The higher the level of education, the greater the number of working years a 50-year-old has ahead of them. The scientists are speaking of working life expectancy at the age of 50. Health aspects are particularly likely to play an important role in this context. When considering the entire life, better educated individuals tend to spend more time studying, which shortens the duration of their working life. Nevertheless, they are less likely to become unemployed, and this increases the duration of their working life. Another important aspect for women is, whether it is common in their respective country that they are gainfully employed, and in which ways a reconciliation of career and family life is promoted.

How much time each person actually spends working, also depends significantly on the economic situation. A study conducted about the years between 1989 and 2012 in Finland shows that the recession of the early 1990s initially reduced the working life expectancy of 50-year-olds. It was only towards the middle of the decade, when the economy began to pick up speed once again that older employees returned to remaining employed for longer.

For Spain the scientists have calculated the effects of the financial crisis that started in 2008 in relation to overall working life expectancy. The results show the number of working years to have decreased from 38 years for men and 33 years for women to 26 years for both sexes. Those affected the least were highly qualified individuals and women, especially older ones. The researchers attribute this to the fact that it was the construction sector in particular that came to a standstill in Spain, and significantly fewer women than men are working in this industry. Similar developments were observed by the researchers for Italy, which was also severely affected by the financial crises.

In another survey it was found that the 2008 financial crisis had a weaker impact on the working life expectancy of women than on that of men, also in the USA. Here the consequences of the economic downturn varied greatly and partly also in unexpected ways, depending on level of education, gender and population groups. The working life expectancy of 50-year-olds with university degrees, for example, decreased by a surprising extent. The researchers' explanation for this effect is that older university graduates, who lost their work due to the recession, tended to enter retirement early – unlike other population groups that could not afford to do so.

The exact opposite could be observed for women without any school-leaving qualifications, especially within the population group of Hispanics: Their working life expectancy at age 50 increased. The scientists consider the "added worker effect" to be the reason for this. According to this explanation, the crisis led to many women from poorer sections of the population to take up employment, in order to compensate their husbands' unemployment or lower income.

Mikko Myrskylä and his team are particularly interested in long-term trends. Within the context of a general increase of life expectancy, the question arises, whether working life expectancy is also increasing. The survey conducted in Finland showed that this was actually the case: Here the average number of working years that 50-year-olds have ahead of them increased by one year for men and by as much as two years for women between 2001 and 2012. This increase exceeded the increase of life expectancy. With regard to the pension system, the researchers consider this to be a very positive development.

Meanwhile, a rather different situation could be observed in the USA. On the one hand, working life expectancy for 50-year-olds across all population groups is higher here than in European countries such as Finland, Great Britain or Spain. On the other hand, however, it remained largely unchanged between 1992 and 2011 – except during the years of the recession, when it decreased.

The researchers are concerned about the significant inequalities within the population, not only in the USA. In future studies, the scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research would like to address differences in health, health-related behaviour and disabilities. After all, the political domain requires reliable data for promoting an extension of the working life, without putting human health at risk.

Explore further: Smoking reduces increase in life expectancy for less educated women

More information: Christian Dudel et al. Working Life Expectancy at Age 50 in the United States and the Impact of the Great Recession, Demography (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s13524-017-0619-6



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-age-fa...-life.html#jCp
https://link.springer.com/article/10...524-017-0619-6
Quote:
Working Life Expectancy at Age 50 in the United States and the Impact of the Great Recession

Abstract
A key concern about population aging is the decline in the size of the economically active population. Working longer is a potential remedy. However, little is known about the length of working life and how it relates to macroeconomic conditions. We use the U.S. Health and Retirement Study for 1992–2011 and multistate life tables to analyze working life expectancy at age 50 and study the impact of the Great Recession in 2007–2009. Despite declines of one to two years following the recession, in 2008–2011, American men aged 50 still spent 13 years, or two-fifths of their remaining life, working; American women of the same age spent 11 years, or one-third of their remaining life, in employment. Although educational differences in working life expectancy have been stable since the mid-1990s, racial differences started changing after the onset of the Great Recession. Our results show that although Americans generally work longer than people in other countries, considerable subpopulation heterogeneity exists. We also find that the time trends are fluctuating, which may prove troublesome as the population ages. Policies targeting the weakest performing groups may be needed to increase the total population trends.
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