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Focus on Nigeria: Life expectancy to reach 125 by 2070

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This year, 2017, the United Nations Development Programme in its latest Human Development Report pegged life expectancy in Nigeria at 53 years – the highest it has reached since 1960. This tells the tale of a country where most human development indices are near bottom in rankings.

But however like every other thing that is changing dramatically about life on this planet, Dutch scientists have said people can expect to live until their 125th birthday by 2070.

According record on modern history, no human has lived longer than chain-smoking Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died at 122 in 1997.

The forecast of the researchers, from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Insititute, favours a woman to reach the milestone of 125 first, most likely a Japanese woman. Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. Experts say it has to do with the Japanese diet that is rich in fish and poor in saturates, and a good healthcare service.

According to Daily Mail UK, however the claim, made in the journal Nature, has been challenged by US researchers who last year reported human’s life expectancy had ‘plateaued’ at 115. They say the chances of a 125-year-old living in 2070 is one in 20,000.

Backing up the new study, Professor Fanny Janssen from the University of Groningen, said, ‘The population of centenarians is increasing rapidly and while the chances of centenarians surviving to even older ages are low, with a growing population, the probability will of course increase that more of them will reach a much higher age.

‘People are living much longer than ever before, and will continue to do so, because of improvements in socioeconomic circumstances, improved living standards, improved housing, and advances in medical care, from antibiotics to statins. The 125-year-old is likely to be a woman because they have a biological advantage and tend to engage in less risky behaviours than men.’

A debate over how long humans can expect to live in the coming decades was sparked by Nature’s publication last October of findings that 115 years may be the limit of our lifespan.

A research team from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York analysed the International Database on Longevity, which has recorded the age of death from people in 41 countries, including the UK, between 1968 and 2006.

They found that people do keep living longer – but only up to a point. At that point, damage to our cells from old age appears to overcome humans and cause them to die.

Though there have been reports of Nigerians living longer than 100 years, however many of them have not been independently verified.

With a comatose healthcare system, which many of its political leaders, including 74-year-old President Muhammadu Buhari avoid, Nigeria may never have an average life expectancy up to 70 years.

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