Humans may be able to live for between 120 and 150 years, but no longer, according to study published online in the journal Nature Communications. Using a mathematical model, it predicts that after 120 to 150 years of age the human body would lose its ability to recover from illness and injury.
The study is based on data from more than 500,000 volunteers condensed into one number that measures the physiological toll of aging: the “dynamic organism state indicator.” The model suggests that even under ideal circumstances, key biomarkers of aging would eventually decline so much that they could no longer support a living organism.
Therapies that extend the body’s resilience may eventually enable humans to live longer, healthier lives. The other factor is quality of life. Beyond a certain point, if a person is too frail to enjoy life, what’s the point?
How many times does a heart beat in an average lifetime?
In earlier times, a human would live 30 or 40 years and their heart would beat 1.5 billion times. Now, with improved nutrition, healthier lifestyles, and improved medical care, they will live 70 or 80 years and their heart will beat 3 billion times.
A slower heartbeat, on average, implies a longer life. That’s one reason why moderate exercise is good for you. A stronger heart uses a slower heart rate to pump the same amount of blood.
Among mammals, the number of heartbeats over the lifespan of different species is fairly constant. Hamsters’ hearts beat 400 times a minute and they live for about four years, which is 840 million beats; an elephant with 35 bpm lives for 35 years, or about 640 million beats total.
There are several factors in play. One is that animals with faster heart rates are also smaller and more at risk from predators and starvation. Their lifespans have evolved to compensate for this by reproducing early and often.
Heart muscle can only repair itself very slowly, so eventually every heart will wear out, but not after a specific number of beats.
You can see the relationship between heart rate and size in the following examples: a blue whale has a heart rate of 8 beats per minute (bpm), an elephant 30, a human 75, a giraffe 150, a cat 160, a hamster 400, and a hummingbird 1,200.
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