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Exp Gerontol. 2001 Apr;36(4-6):915-30.

Supercentenarians: slower ageing individuals or senile elderly?

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INSERM, Val d'Aurelle, 34298, Montpellier, France.


Although the increase in the number of centenarians is well documented today, at least in some countries, this is still not the case for people having reached the age of 110 years or more: the supercentenarians. The supercentenarians emerged in the mid-1960s. Their numbers have regularly increased since the mid-1970s. The current prevalence of known supercentenarians in countries involved in the database is approximately five to six times more than in the mid-1970s. In roughly 20 years the maximum age observed has increased by about 10 years from 112 to 122 years. The annual probability of death at age 110 is as low as 0.52 with the validated data (n=106) or with the exhaustive and validated data (n=73). The probabilities of death stagnate between 110 and 115 years, and all the computed probabilities fall below the ceiling of 0.6. Our results are compatible with the last extrapolations of mortality trajectories using a logistic or a quadratic model.

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