Do you feel old, creaking and over the hill? If you hold on long enough, there is a plateau ahead.
A new UC Berkeley-based analysis questions the notion that humans have innate limits to longevity, indicating that the risk of dying actually diminishes. The '80s and' 90s are certainly dangerous. But when we're 105 years old, we have a chance to make it to 110, according to a study by extremely old Italians led by UCB demographer and statistician Kenneth Wachter and Sapienza University in Rome.
The world is getting older, with an estimated 100,000 centenarians. From the end of the 19th century, average life expectancy began to rise as fewer children died. More recently, adults are also living longer due to improved diets, antibiotics and fewer smokers.
The secrets of the centenary are hotly debated, with much controversy over whether mortality increases when we get very old and reach a "maximum age" – or our mortality rate goes down or even drops, suggesting that we have not reached the specified life.
This study, published in the current issue of the journal Science, is the latest version of the longstanding dispute in this area called Biodemography, which studies the oldest ancient. 
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"Our results are surprising "said study leader author W echter, 71 years old. "The older you get, the faster your chances of dying, but that disappears in extreme times, suggesting a deep underlying mechanism."
"It convinces us that we are not getting close to a limit in the human lifespan "He said," We do not know if there is an age limit. But if that is so, we are not approaching it yet.
The team analyzed the survival pathways of 3,836 individuals in a database of the Italian National Statistics Office, which maps every Italian over the age of 105. (Of the long-term survivors, only 12 percent were men – perhaps the result of Ferrari, Campari, and two world wars.)
Why Italians? Their birth dates are more accurate than the Americans, because there is a community directory of all residents. "Europeans are more used to the government having more information about them," Wachter said.
To study Americans , researchers would have to compare social security birth dates with death dates, a process that is fraught with errors, and the US has many more immigrants, which makes it harder to pinpoint when someone was born.
Death rates rise rapidly to around 105 years The annual mortality rate for Italian women born in 1904 was 333 per 1000 at the age of 100 years and 475 per 1000 at the age of 105.
But then the risk slows down and levels off, the team found. At the age of 110 years, the one-year likelihood of the "supercentenariat" remained 475 per 1,000. This also seems to be true at the age of 111 and 112, although there is not enough data to be sure.
Similar extreme-age mortality plateaus have been observed in other species, such as mice and fruit flies, which indicate a biological basis] Why do some people live longer? The study highlights the need for more research. Wachter and study co-author James Vaupel of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany say that frail people die earlier, while robust or genetically-blessed people can live into old age.
"The only people who attended their 75th college meeting were the ones who were quite strong at their 50th college meeting," Wachter said. "Those who were weak mostly died."
"If we can understand why this happens at an extreme age, then we hope this will tell us more about what drives mortality in our 80s and 90s," he said.
Of course, when we are older than 30, evolution is not interested in having children and raising them to survive.
Eventually the Grim Reaper will come for all of us. The warranty expires. Our bodies wear out and are beaten at the molecular level – and there is not a single gene or therapeutic silver bullet that can stop it.
Can science slow down the ravages of time?
"If we continue the sort of gradual but steady progress that we have seen, and we will not mess up the world too much," Wachter said, "longevity will increase."