Number of 100-year-olds in Germany is increasing massively

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More and more people are 100 years or older

Life expectancy of the population in Germany is increasing rapidly. A demographic study by researchers from the University of Rostock shows an unexpectedly rapid increase in the number of 100-year-olds. The research team led by Professor Roland Rau attributes this increase in life expectancy to the "rapidly falling mortality rate from the age of 80."

From the age of 100, the scientists speak of “very old people” today, but this could possibly change in the future. Because, according to the results of the current study, such a life expectancy is by no means unusual for those born today. "We have model calculations that say that not only will a large number of newborns today experience the next century, but half of them can expect to live to be 100 years old," explains Professor Rau in a recent press release.

Mortality among those over 80 years of age has halved According to the results of the demographic researchers, "Since 1960, the mortality rate of 80 year olds has more than halved in many countries." Specifically, this means that 50 years ago, eleven out of 100 women aged eighty died on her 81st birthday, today there are "just four." The scientists attribute an essential role to the increasing life expectancy of the "cardiovascular revolution". According to Professor Rau, doctors can treat diseases of the heart (e.g. coronary heart disease) and blood vessels (e.g. hardening of the arteries) better in many ways. The number of deaths from a heart attack or stroke is correspondingly lower. The "knowledge of one's own health" has also increased in the population. The individual lifestyle continues to play a decisive role in the life expectancy of the individual. All in all, it can be said that the Germans are getting older than ever and “there is no end in sight”, emphasized Professor Rau.

Aging processes start later and later The observed trend of a steadily increasing life expectancy "also means that the aging process starts later", the Rostock scientists reported. If mortality is used as the ultimate health indicator, women at the age of 86 today have the health of 80-year-old women 50 years ago, explained Prof. Rau. According to the researchers, the highest annual life expectancy worldwide has been increasing for "more than 160 years every decade by 2.5 years or just under six hours a day." The Federal Republic had also followed this trend since the 1950s. Since reunification, life expectancy in East and West Germany has also converged.

Approximation of life expectancy in West and East Germany Around 1990, the researchers registered a clear gap in life expectancy between West German and East German women (79 years West Germany; 76 years East Germany), since 2005 women have been at the same level nationwide. Today, an overall German average of 82.5 years is measured, report Professor Rau and colleagues. The interesting question is why life expectancy among East German women has increased correspondingly faster since 1990 than in West Germany. Here science follows “two main hypotheses: it is money to eat healthier and (or) medicine.” To maximize personal life expectancy, Professor Rau recommends: “Do what mother always did advised: eat healthy, do not drink so much alcohol and do not smoke, do sports, keep yourself mentally fit. "However, the big leaps in life expectancy are not due to such measures, but to" the enormous advances in medicine ", so the conclusion of the Rostock demography researcher. (fp)

Also read:
Life expectancy: women live and suffer longer
Vitamin pills can reduce life expectancy

Image: Dieter Schütz /

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