The study, by an international collaboration of scientists from 14 countries and including experts from the University of Oxford, set out to test the “invariant rate of ageing” hypothesis, which says that a species has a relatively fixed rate of ageing from adulthood.
“Our findings support the theory that, rather than slowing down death, more people are living much longer due to a reduction in mortality at younger ages,” said José Manuel Aburto from Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, who analysed age-specific birth and death data spanning centuries and continents.
“We compared birth and death data from humans and non-human primates and found this general pattern of mortality was the same in all of them,” said Aburto. “This suggests that biological, rather than environmental factors, ultimately control longevity.
“The statistics confirmed, individuals live longer as health and living conditions improve which leads to increasing longevity across an entire population. Nevertheless, a steep rise in death rates, as years advance into old age, is clear to see in all species.”
Read more at The Guardian