Could you live to 140?

The oldest recorded person in the world was a 122-year-old French woman, who died 20 years ago. But an Israeli researcher believes that innovations in delaying the effects of ageing could expand humans’ maximum lifespan to up to 140 years.
“While in the past, 70 per cent of humans died of infections, today 70 per cent die of old age diseases,” said Professor Haim Cohen of the Cohen Lab of Molecular Mechanism Of Aging at Bar Ilan University.
“If we manipulate the ageing process itself, we also can raise the maximal life expectancy,” he said.
Cohen — along with a team of nine other researchers — published a study this month in the The Journals of Gerontology which states that while the average life expectancy has greatly increased over the last century due to innovations in the treatment of disease, the maximum human lifespan of the oldest 10 per cent of society remains relatively stagnant at around 115 years.
The researchers examined hundreds of experiments which directly targeted the ageing process in yeast, worms, flies and rodents, and found that their maximum lifespan was consistently increased.
They also analysed the causes of death in humans since 1900 and found a transition from the majority of deaths being caused by infection, to age-related deaths being the majority.
They argue that if similar treatments targeting the effects of old age are expanded to humans, maximum life expectancy could be increased by as much as 30 per cent.
Cohen’s findings contradict a study released by a team of researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York last year, which said that the maximum lifespan has reached a natural limit of 115 years.
James W Vaupel, Director of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, supported Cohen’s findings, saying that he does not agree with the “limit” of 115 years.
“The article is based on careful, thorough research,” he said. Cohen expressed hope that his research would lead to the expansion of healthy lives.
“The goal is that people stay healthy longer and not just live longer,” he said. — dpa