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How long should you expect to live

September 9, 2018

 

 

How long you want to live, how long you can expect to live, and how long you will live may eventually be the same! Only 4% of us live to 95. The anti-aging world has decided that immortality doesn't violate laws of physics and chemistry, it's just a biologic problem waiting to be solved, according to an article in the NYT. How long do we live?

 

Expectancy for women is now about 78.1 for women in 2011, down from 80.4, US data 2004. Was 48.3 in 1900. Men live just a few years less. So the group of us is getting older. Now the longevity experts would tell us that the oldest among us hasn't really gotten older. The top dog in longevity: Maybe 113, or 122, the data keeping back then, and from where, not so good.

 

And who should we ask if we want to live really long, your doctor, right? Maybe not. We are beginning to understand a few health factors that are associated with aging. We have found a gene in worms that if corrected can make the worm live 3 times it's normal lifespan! And we have found a certain link to cholesterol gene with long life. 

 

But we are mostly just making us all healthier.  I can check on how to make someone with a particular cancer survive longer, or with hypertension, you get the idea. Eventually, apparently living longer is treating what you have better. With rats we can do experiments and see which rat lives the longest, apparently that just has not been ok with human research, so extrapolation.

 

First we do have to kick what kills us off early. Living longer world wide for women also means not dying in childbirth. World wide 600,000 women die each year of pregnancy related causes. Developing countries only represent about 1% of that number of course.

 

Then we have to kick heart disease, you'll hear a lot about that, the annual Red Heart Day. And nothing ruins your heart like crossing into menopause, the lipids and BP just take a beating.Average age of menopause is 51.4, and that is true in most all cultures of the world. So 1/3 of your life, you'll be in menopause, and the "reproductive years" are thought of as ages 15 to 45. Going through menopause early is not healthy. If you have your ovaries removed prior to the age of 40 you have over 50% increased rate of stroke. Actually those who lost their ovaries before age 40 have even been shown to have decreased grip strength! So to fix early menopause, there is some data that says if you take estrogen at that point you will prolong your life. Come on in to gab about it and we will help you interpret the literature.

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