Old people are pioneers, forming the expanding wavefront of the living

Let’s start personal: I’m into understanding biologically aging and boosting healthy longevity since I was 14. Several decades later, in early middle age the same commitment is the main motivational drive behind working on AgeCurve. Since my teenage commitment got me into aging research and science, I became sensitive and appreciative towards the issues that arise with aging so I was sensitised towards the issues of older people early on. I’ve always looked at them as forming the forefront, the avant-garde of experiencing and understanding accelerated biological aging and trying to counteract the biological, physiological decline and metabolic damage that accompanies it.

Turns out this forefront analogy has some positive scientific backing. Using demography data,  period death rates and not cohort death rates, Zuo et al. showed in Advancing front of old-age human survival, published in PNAS that

for five decades in 20 developed countries, that old-age survival follows an advancing front, like a traveling wave. We make and test several predictions that support the existence of this front. Our unexpected result underscores the plasticity of old-age human mortality, with deaths steadily delayed as societies develop, and supports an ongoing increase in the age of transition to disability. We find no evidence of an impending limit to human lifespan.

So old people are forming the ever expanding wavefront of the living, and that deserves respect and support throughout.

Here’s the 2nd slide of my talk given in Valencia at the Longevity World Forum: