Human lifespan records are not remarkable but their durations are

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Has the maximum human lifespan been reached? The current record stands at 122 years, 164 days and has held for over 20 years and is more than four and three quarter years higher than the previous record. The value and persistence of this record have surprised some researchers, with some even questioning its veracity. There have been previous attempts in the literature to answer questions about how long this record might stand and whether it is truly exceptional but the focus has been mainly on the record ages, using ad hoc tools. This article contributes in two new ways. First we study lifespan records via the (inter-) record times and second we make use of specific tools from statistical Records Theory. We find that the occurrence of the present record was not surprising. We estimate around a 25% chance that the record would have survived until now and around a one in five chance that it will survive until 2050, demonstrating remarkable persistence.

TidsskriftPLOS ONE
Udgave nummer3
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2019