Why People Survive to High Advanced Ages? Another Look at the Plasticity of Ageing

Jesus-Adrian Alvarez, Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics, University of Southern Denmark
Anthony Medford, University of Southern Denmark
Catalina Torres , University of Southern Denmark

It has been shown that human longevity is extraordinarily plastic. The malleability of age-specifi c risk of death is attributed to environmental factors and no other organism has ever experienced the type or magnitude of environmental improvement that humans have. We hypothesize that people surviving to older ages are highly adaptable to environmental changes and that the most resilient ones are capable to sustain their vitality and improve their survival. Robustness is therefore linked with the plasticity of longevity at a individual level such that most robust individuals exhibit greater malleability in their age at death. In this study, we analyse high-quality data from Danish registers in order to reveal what are the characteristics that distinguish centenarians from people that have died much before. The aim of this study is to enhance current knowledge about the underlying dynamics of longevity and make strides on what are the determinants of the malleability of human longevity.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality