[extropy-chat] The Longevity Dividend

Hal Finney hal at finney.org
Sat Mar 11 22:35:49 UTC 2006

Alejandro Dubrovsky writes:
> At the current rate of life expectancy improvement in developed
> countries, 7 years would take somewhere between two and three decades,
> which matches the remaining life expectancy of the baby boomers, so this
> objective could probably be achieved by doing whatever we are doing
> already.  The remaining life expectancy wouldn't be increased by 7 years
> at all stages of life, but the effect would still be that, on average,
> the mortality at any specific age would be halved. Would Olshanky claim
> the objective met if the current trend continued?

That's a good point; life expectancy at birth has been increasing 2-3
years per decade so you're right, in another 20-30 years we could easily
see an increase of 7 years.

However Olshansky  is not interested in life expectancy per se, he is
interested in postponing the aging process in general.  While this might
have the side effect of increasing life expectancy, his main goal is to
delay the onset of old-age related diseases and degeneration.

How are we doing on that?  Have our increases in life expectancy been
accompanied by an increase in healthy-life years?  Have we managed
to push out the age at which cancer or heart disease tends to strike?
I'd like to hear more about how trends have been in those areas.


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