June 2019

Live Long and Happy

A recent study of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle ranked Spain, Japan and Singapore as the leaders in the life expectancy of their population. One of the leading research centers of world medicine ranked Lesotho, the Central African Republic and Zimbabwe as countries with the shortest life expectancy.

These documented dates February 21, 1875 to August 4, 1997 are official records of the longest life of a person - 122 years and 163 days. The world record belongs to the French woman Jeanne Louise Calment. Some dispute it, others are going to beat it - about 125 million people over 80 have already been registered on the planet; and their ranks are steadily growing.

However, several groups of experts, independently of each other, stated that mankind has already reached the maximum indices of resilience. The French admitted that in the past century, the proportion of healthy people on the planet experienced growth, but nobody lived longer than 120 years. Having processed the statistics of natural mortality for the same period in 40 countries Americans put the age limit for the modern homo sapiens at 125 years. The Dutch were even more categorical. According to their calculations, women can qualify for 115,7 years, while men can only rely on a year and a half less. The researchers took into account genetic factors, progress in nutrition, medicine and science, and, of course, environmental conditions.

The annual report of the World Health Organization contains data of medical and sanitary assessment of public health in 194 countries. The document was the fruit of a joint effort of UN specialists and scientists from leading academic institutions. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle updated the ranking of countries by the average life expectancy of their citizens. Spain ranks highest slightly overtaking Japan, with Singapore completing the top three. Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Israel, France, Luxembourg, and Australia lag behind the winners by a small margin, while Lesotho, the Central African Republic and Zimbabwe complete the list of outsider.

The long-livers have two things in common: their biological age is lower than their chronological one as indicated in the passport; and they retain a positive interest in life longer. The duration of a person’s active life is much more important than age. The record holder Jeanne Louise Calment went skating in the winter and cycling in the summer. In the evenings in the offseason, over a glass of port, she allowed herself a cigarette and loved to repeat that she felt young, although the last seventy years not so attractive.