Claims for extraordinary human lifespans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEncyclopedia chapterCommunication

Abstract

Until recently, most reported extraordinary human lifespans were incorrect. It seems that the first supercentenarians, the Dutch man Geert Andriaans Boomgaard and the British woman Margaret Ann Harvey Neve, who are described in this article, emerged around 1900 in Europe. The American woman Delina Filkins was may be the first to reach the age of 113 in 1928. Her record seems to have held more than 50 years until the German-American Augusta Holz reached the age of 114 in 1985 and 115 the year after. Her record was surpassed by the French woman Jeanne Calment when she reached the age of 116 in 1991 and died at the age of 122 in 1997. Since nobody has reached the age of 120 years, although the Canadian woman Marie Meilleur reached the age of 117 in 1998 and the American Sarah Knauss reached the age of 119 in 1999. Remarkably, since 2015 five other women have reached the age of 117. Among the more than 30 who reached the age of 115 or more only three were men with the Japanese man Jiroenmon Kiruma, who died at the age of 116 in 2013, as the recordholder after the Danish-American Chris Mortensen who held this record for 15 years. Validation of the ages of long-livers should include a certain degree of family reconstitution to avoid mistakes caused by, for example, namesakes between siblings, or to evaluate whether the spacing of the ages between mother and her children is plausible. The family reconstitution should at least include the dates of the parents of the long-liver, the names and dates of the long-liver’s siblings, and the dates of birth of the long-liver’s children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biomedical Gerontology
EditorsSuresh I.S. Rattan
PublisherElsevier
Publication date2020
Edition2019
Pages413-419
ChapterC
ISBN (Print)9780128160756
ISBN (Electronic)9780128160763
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Lifespans
  • Longevity
  • Oldest in the world
  • Supercentenarian

Cite this

Jeune, B. (2020). Claims for extraordinary human lifespans. In S. I. S. Rattan (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Biomedical Gerontology (2019 ed., pp. 413-419). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.11332-7