Remember the song "Fame", by Irene Cara? Part of the lyrics go, "Remember my name. Fame! I'm gonna live forever…" Well, according to science, Cara, and the rest of us for that matter, are most certainly NOT going to live forever. In fact, scientists have discovered the maximum age humans can possibly live to.
Looks like 115 is when we'll max out, although there have been documented cases of people living longer. Those few who hit 115 and keep on going are "exceptions to the rule" because as per the findings of molecular geneticist and professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Department of Genetics, Jan Vijg, "The reason human lifespans are fixed is genetic. Those who live extraordinarily long lives are exceptions, outliers to the statistical model."
Although lifespans and human life expectancy has increased over the centuries, 115, according to Vijg's team is the ceiling. As he puts it, "From now on, this is it. Humans will never get older than 115. Human life has a natural limits that medical advances won't be able to prolong." Not exactly the "happy birthday" greeting great-great-grandma Tilly was hoping for.
It was found that survival rates hit a plateau in 1980, and even with the best in medical advancements, humans just won't surpass the 115 mark. Yes, medical improvements and new technology will make the ride smoother and improve quality of life, and with proper care, people can extend their lives in order to make it to the maximum age with less illness and decline as they may have otherwise experienced.
As we age, newer and better advancements are always being worked on, medically speaking. So while we may never see our 116th birthday, at least we can celebrate the ones up until then in better health than our predecessors. The only problem will be the fire hazard from all those birthday candles.
Want to learn more about longevity? You've got 115 years, so read when you've got a free moment.