ISLAMABAD: Researchers claim to have discovered the maximum age ‘ceiling’ for human lifespan. Despite growing life expectancy because of better nutrition, living conditions and medical care, Dutch scientists say our longevity cannot keep extending forever. Women can only live to a maximum of 115.7 years, they said, while men can only hope for 114.1 years at the most. The research by statisticians at Tilburg and Rotterdam’s Erasmus universities said, however, there were still some people who had bent the norm. The research by statisticians at Tilburg and Rotterdam’s Erasmus universities said women could live to a maximum of 115.7 years, while men could only hope for 114.1 years at the most. However, they did concede that there were exceptions, like Jeanne Calment, the French woman who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days old – the longest life ever recorded. Lifespan is the term used to describe how long an individual lives, while life expectancy is the average duration of life that individuals in an age group can expect to have – a measure of societal wellbeing. The team mined data over 30 years from some 75,000 Dutch people whose exact ages were recorded at the time of death. “On average, people live longer, but the very oldest among us have not gotten older over the last thirty years,” Prof John Einmahl said. “There is certainly some kind of a wall here. Of course the average life expectancy has increased,” he said, pointing out the number of people turning 95 in the Netherlands had almost tripled. “Nevertheless, the maximum ceiling itself hasn’t changed,” he said. The Dutch findings, to be published next month, come in the wake of those by US-based researchers who last year claimed a similar age ceiling. However, that study by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found that exceptionally long-lived individuals were not getting as old as before. Einmahl and his researchers disputed that, saying their conclusions deduced by using a statistical brand called ‘Extreme Value Theory’, showed almost no fluctuation in maximum lifespan. Extreme Value Theory is a brand of statistics that measures data and answers questions at extreme ends of events such as lifespan or disasters. They claim it provides the most accurate assessment. However, scores of other research teams have challenged the idea of a limit so close to 100. Earlier this year, another team of Dutch researchers, this time from the University of Groningen, said 125 is achievable by 2070. They made that judgement based on death probabilities recorded for people up to the age of 109 and extrapolated to older people – a method is criticized by others in the field as vague trajectory. Meanwhile, a team from McGill University challenge whether there can be any limit on how long people can live. Coffee: A new study shows that women with diabetes who consume one regular cup of coffee every day are much less likely to die prematurely than those who do not. Both tea and coffee have a wide range of health benefits, but consuming caffeine may be particularly good for women with diabetes. Recent research shows that for these people, one daily cup of coffee cuts death risk by more than 50 percent. New research presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting, held in Lisbon, Portugal, found that caffeine can significantly decrease the risk of death among women with diabetes. The study – which was jointly led by Dr João Sérgio Neves and Prof Davide Carvalho, both from the University of Porto in Portugal – examined the link between consuming different amounts of caffeine and mortality risk among men and women with diabetes. Dr Neves and team looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey collected between 1999 and 2010. For their study, the researchers examined 1,568 women and 1,484 men with diabetes. They evaluated the participants’ caffeine intake using “24-hour dietary recalls” – that is, interviews that assessed the participants’ coffee consumption during the previous 24 hours. Subjects were also asked about the source of their caffeine, be it from coffee, tea, or soft drinks. The authors used Cox proportional hazard models to adjust for factors that might confound the results, including body mass index (BMI), income and education, alcohol consumption, smoking, high blood pressure, and the number of years that have passed since the diabetes diagnosis. Over the 11-year period, 618 people died. No significant association was found between caffeine consumption and all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, or cancer-related mortality among men. However, women who had up to 100 milligrams of caffeine – the equivalent of one cup of coffee – every day had a 51 percent lower risk of dying prematurely than women who did not have any caffeine. The findings were dose-dependent: women who had between 100 and 200 milligrams of caffeine daily were 57 percent less likely to die compared with their non-consuming counterparts. Furthermore, those who consumed more than 200 milligrams daily – the equivalent of two cups of coffee – had a 66 percent lower risk of death. Getting one’s caffeine intake from tea also had a beneficial effect. “Women who consumed more caffeine from tea had reduced mortality from cancer,” write the authors. Published in Daily Times, September 18th 2017.