Friday, October 9, 2009

Research indicates most babies born this century in rich countries may live to 100.

The AP (10/2, Cheng) reports, "Most babies born in rich countries this century will eventually make it to their 100th birthday," according to research published in The Lancet. Researchers say "that since the 20th century, people in developed countries are living about three decades longer than in the past," and that "trend shows little sign of slowing down." For the study, researchers "examined studies published globally in 2004-2005 on numerous issues related to aging."
The study showed that "without any further improvement in longevity, three-quarters of babies will mark their 75th birthdays," Bloomberg News (10/2, Hallam) reports. The researchers noted that "better healthcare for the elderly, particularly in the US, has extended lives by making illnesses...manageable over time and allowing earlier detection and intervention."
WebMD (10/1, Hitti) reported that the researchers speculated that "societies will stop looking at life as consisting of three phases -- childhood, adulthood, and old age -- and start dividing 'old age' into a 'third age (young old)' and a 'fourth age (oldest old).'" They added, however, that "it remains to be seen if obesity, which has also been rising, will put the brakes on rising life expectancies."

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