Broken Limits to Life Expectancy
June 2, 2002 | Source: Science
Is human life expectancy approaching its limit? Many–including individuals planning their retirement and officials responsible for health and social policy–believe it is, but the evidence presented in the Policy Forum suggests otherwise.
For 160 years, best-performance life expectancy has steadily increased by a quarter of a year per year, an extraordinary constancy of human achievement. Mortality experts have repeatedly asserted that life expectancy is close to an ultimate ceiling; these experts have repeatedly been proven wrong. The apparent leveling off of life expectancy in various countries is an artifact of laggards catching up and leaders falling behind.