The natural limit to human life is no more than 125 years, a study has found.
Despite ever more humans living for longer each year – the final cut-off point has remained stubbornly the same.
No human has lived longer than 122 – the age reached by a Frenchwoman, Jeanne Calment, in 1997.
Researchers believe that this is because there is an age limit beyond which humans just cannot pass naturally.
Researchers led by Jan Vijg of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York investigated whether the rise in human lifespans meant the 122 lifespan was a maximum.
The most ’convincing argument’ that the maximum human lifespan is not fixed is the ongoing increase in life expectancy in most countries over the last century, the researchers said.
However, a large part of the increase in life expectancy comes from a huge reduction of deaths in childbirth and infancy.
If there was no limit, we would see an onward march of ever older people.
To test the theory, they studied the International Database on Longevity, which records the age of death from people in 41 countries between 1968 and 2006.
They found that people do keep living longer – but only up to a point.