Is Longevity Escape Velocity Science Fiction?

Link: https://insights.longevityassistant.com/2022/05/is-longevity-escape-velocity-science.html?m=1

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A new series called “Let’s Talk Longevity” kicked of with a conversation (sort of debate) between Drs. Aubrey De Grey and Charles Brenner, centering around the possibility of achieving “Longevity Escape Velocity” (LEV).

De Grey’s position imagines the possibility (50% chance in next few decades) of a “Methusalarity” a moment in which we begin to reverse some aspects of “aging” , primarily via “damage repair” at such a rate that we are able to repair damage in the body as fast as or faster than that damage is occurring. More concretely defined, it can be thought of as 20-30 years more of expected healthy life at age 60 when anti aging therapies begin.

Author(s): Nate Worrell

Publication Date: May 2022, accessed 20 May 2022

Publication Site: Longevity Assistant

Book Review: Lifespan

Link:https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/book-review-lifespan

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David Sinclair – Harvard professor, celebrity biologist, and author of Lifespan – thinks solving aging will be easy. “Aging is going to be remarkably easy to tackle. Easier than cancer” are his exact words, which is maybe less encouraging than he thinks.

There are lots of ways that solving aging could be hard. What if humans worked like cars? To restore an old car, you need to fiddle with hundreds of little parts, individually fixing everything from engine parts to chipping paint. Fixing humans to such a standard would be way beyond current technology.

Or what if the DNA damage theory of aging was true? This says that as cells divide (or experience normal wear and tear) they don’t copy their DNA exactly correctly. As you grow older, more and more errors creep in, and your cells become worse and worse at their jobs. If this were true, there’s not much to do either: you’d have to correct the DNA in every cell in the body (using what template? even if you’d saved a copy of your DNA from childhood, how do you get it into all 30 trillion cells?) This is another nonstarter.

Sinclair’s own theory offers a simpler option. He starts with a puzzling observation: babies are very young [citation needed]. If a 70 year old man marries a 40 year old woman and has a baby, that baby will start off at zero years old, just like everyone else. Even more interesting, if you clone a 70 year old man, the clone start at zero years old.

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So Sinclair thinks aging is epigenetic damage. As time goes on, cells lose or garble the epigenetic markers telling them what cells to be. Kidney cells go from definitely-kidney-cells to mostly kidney cells but also a little lung cell and maybe some heart cell in there too. It’s hard to run a kidney off of cells that aren’t entirely sure whether they’re supposed to be kidney cells or something else, and so your kidneys (and all your other organs) break down as you age. He doesn’t come out and say this is literally 100% of aging. But everyone else thinks aging is probably a combination of many complicated processes, and I think Sinclair thinks it’s mostly epigenetic damage and then a few other odds and ends that matter much less.

Author(s): Scott Alexander

Publication Date: 1 Dec 2021

Publication Site: Astral Codex Ten

Mega trend 10: The democratization of longevity

Link: https://www.clubvita.us/news-and-insights/mega-trend-10-the-democratization-of-longevity

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Illustrated below is the evolution of life expectancy at birth for seven Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries: Canada, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Across the seven countries, male life expectancy at birth ranged from 64.8 years to 68.2 years in 1960, and 69.8 years to 81.1 years in 2017, demonstrating an increase in the inequality of life expectancy of almost eight years between these countries over the period. For females, the increase was approximately four years. The inequality in life expectancy is more apparent and unsettling if we consider, for example, developing countries in Africa, averaging a life expectancy of around 63 years in 2019.

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Altogether, I believe greater democratization of longevity is achievable with the adoption of health technologies, while ensuring they are accessible and affordable. I am hopeful but I see several challenges ahead. Such a reality will be reliant on governments, health care professionals, and patients’ acceptance and reliance on what the future of health holds. It will also require global partnerships to build out ecosystems that will facilitate inclusive innovation.

Author(s): Shantel Aris

Publication Date: 22 Sept 2021

Publication Site: Club Vita

30 really is the new 20 (for some people – determining who they are will become crucial for pension plans and insurers)

Link: https://www.clubvita.us/news-and-insights/mega-trend-9-30-really-is-the-new-20-for-some-people-determining-who-they-are-will-become-crucial-for-pension-plans-and-insurers

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Moshe Milevsky claims that someone could be up to 20 years younger biologically than their chronological age, and that biological age is a much be a better way of determining a person’s longevity. If this is true, is there a way that organizations that specialize in longevity and/or mortality and that use mathematical calculations in order to determine risk could use biological age instead of chronological age to predict future health and longevity?

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There are two methods used to calculate biological age, coined by Milevsky as the “living” methodology or the “dying” methodology a.k.a. the mortality-adjusted approach.

Both methods begin with the collection of data. A researcher would first gather data from a large group of people at a wide range of ages, collecting biological samples and measurements in order to record various physiological and molecular variables (such as heart rate, blood pressure, mutations of DNA, or the presence of certain proteins in the blood). Researchers may also collect data on variables that they believe will be correlated with enhancement or deterioration of a person’s physiological condition, such as their wealth, occupation or even their appearance or number of Facebook friends!

Author(s): Nikiya Marilla

Publication Date: 16 Sept 2021

Publication Site: Club Vita

Japan’s older population hits record high

Link: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/09/20/national/japans-older-population-hits-record-high/

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The estimated number of people aged 65 or older in Japan stood at a record high of 36.4 million as of Wednesday, an increase of 220,000 from a year before, the internal affairs ministry said Sunday.

The share of those aged adults in the nation’s total population rose to a record 29.1%, the highest among 201 countries and regions across the world.

Older men totaled 15.83 million, or 26% of the total male population. There were 20.57 million elderly women, or 32% of the female population.

The ministry released the data ahead of Respect for the Aged Day on Monday, a national holiday.

In Japan, the share of aged people has been rising since 1950. The figure is expected to rise to as high as 35.3% in 2040 when the so-called second baby-boomer generation, or people born in the early 1970s, reaches the age of 65 or older, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

Publication Date: 20 Sept 2021

Publication Site: The Japan Times

The economic value of targeting aging

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43587-021-00080-0?fbclid=IwAR30GYDrmx1ck_1CkFvkoJUR4EttL4OxkNOgD9ZYft_jvqYa-inOhhthZao

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Developments in life expectancy and the growing emphasis on biological and ‘healthy’ aging raise a number of important questions for health scientists and economists alike. Is it preferable to make lives healthier by compressing morbidity, or longer by extending life? What are the gains from targeting aging itself compared to efforts to eradicate specific diseases? Here we analyze existing data to evaluate the economic value of increases in life expectancy, improvements in health and treatments that target aging. We show that a compression of morbidity that improves health is more valuable than further increases in life expectancy, and that targeting aging offers potentially larger economic gains than eradicating individual diseases. We show that a slowdown in aging that increases life expectancy by 1 year is worth US$38 trillion, and by 10 years, US$367 trillion. Ultimately, the more progress that is made in improving how we age, the greater the value of further improvements.

Author(s): Andrew J. Scott, Martin Ellison, David A. Sinclair

Publication Date: 5 July 2021

Publication Site: Nature Aging

Who Gets to Live to 100 and Who Doesn’t? Reviewing the 2020 Living to 100 Symposium Monograph

Link: https://www.soa.org/sections/reinsurance/reinsurance-newsletter/2021/march/rsn-2021-03-kaufhold/

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Given these advances in understanding the theoretical methods of evaluating multiple, related mortality data sets, it is particularly promising that the Human Mortality Database, with the SOA’s sponsorship, has recently made available mortality data for the United States at the level of the individual county. Moreover, Professor Magali Barbieri of University of California, Berkeley in January 2021 published an SOA Research Report[3] on “Mortality by Socio-economic Category in the United States” using this data series. Professor Barbieri is one of the directors of the HMD project, which is jointly run by UC Berkeley and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany and support from the Center on the Economics and Development of Aging (CEDA) and the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED). In her paper, Barbieri studies socio-economic differences linked to mortality differentials by county, based on information available at the county level regarding education, occupation, employment, income, and housing. The gap between the highest and lowest county decile is huge and growing. In 2018, the qx-rate for 45-year-old men in counties with the lowest Socioeconomic Index Score (SIS) was 2.5 times that for men of that age in counties with the highest SIS. This gap is even greater than the difference between smokers and non-smokers. Professor Barbieri’s report shows the widening trend between the different socio-economic strata which she captures by grouping the counties into deciles by SIS. While the highest SIS score is associated with a life expectancy that matches or even beats the OECD average, people living in counties with the lowest SIS have hardly seen any improvement in their life expectancy over the last four decades. Comparing the average life expectancy at birth within the highest decile of counties to the lowest, there was a gap of 3.0 years in 1982, the first year for which consistent data was available. This gap has more than doubled since then, rolling in at 6.6 years difference in life expectancy in 2018. That is an increase of 120 percent. Worse still, the gender gap once again manifests itself in the mortality trends, with females showing an increase of the socio-economic mortality gap of 260 percent over the 36-year period, compared to 76 percent for males.

Author(s): Kai Kaufhold

Publication Date: March 2021

Publication Site: Reinsurance News at the Society of Actuaries

The trillion dollar upside to longevity

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This model allowed the researchers to place a monetary value on the financial gain from longer life, better health and changes in the rate at which we age [4,5]. VSL represents the sum of the value of each remaining year of life, discounted to the present day and weighted by the survival rate.

The study revealed that a compression of morbidity that improves health is more valuable than further increases in life expectancy. However, in order to raise economic gains, longevity has to improve too. Slowing down aging reduces the rate at which biological damage occurs and improves both health and mortality.

Publication Date: 16 February 2021

Publication Site: Longevity Technology

All’s Well That Ages Well: The Economic Value of Targeting Aging

Link: https://longevitydividend.london.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/allswell_080121.pdf

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Human lifespans are increasing with advances in medicine, but the economic value of these gains are poorly understood. Based on U.S. data, we show a compression of morbidity that improves health
is more valuable than further increases in life expectancy. However, economic gains to better health diminish unless longevity also improves. Treatments that target aging are hence particularly valuable,
as they produce both healthier and longer lives. We calculate a slowdown in aging that increases life expectancy by one year is worth $38 trillion, and for ten years $367 trillion. Evaluating the impact
of metformin shows targeting aging offers potentially larger economic gains than eradicating individual diseases. Complementarities between health, longevity and age lead to a virtuous circle that means
improvements in aging increase the value of further gains. Aligned with trends in demographics and disease, this implies the gains from age targeting treatments will increase further in the decades ahead.

Author(s): Martin Ellison, Andrew J. Scott, David A. Sinclair

Publication Date: 8 January 2021

Publication Site: London Business School

Economic Research on Treating Aging to Extend Healthy Longevity

Link: https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/02/economic-research-on-treating-aging-to-extend-healthy-longevity/

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In one sense, there is an enormous wealth of research on the economics of longer lives. This is a byproduct of the operations of sizable pensions and life insurance industries, dependent as they are on successfully predicting future trends in life span. On the other hand, outside this somewhat narrow scope, most concerned with the gain of a tenth of a year here and the loss of a tenth of a year there, there is comparatively little economic work that is directly tied to the research and advocacy communities engaged in trying to treat aging and greatly lengthen healthy human lifespan. That will change as the longevity industry both grows and succeeds in introducing age-slowing and rejuvenating therapies into the clinic.

The paper and commentary that I point out today might be taken as a sample of what lies ahead for the economics profession. At least some economists are at present managing to convince grant-awarding bodies in their field that, yes, there is real movement towards the treatment of aging, and perhaps someone should look into how that will likely play out in markets and societies. It should come as no great surprise to the audience here that even modest gains in slowing or reversing aging have vast economic benefits when they occur across an entire population. The cost of coping with aging is vast, the cost of incapacity and lost knowledge and death due to aging equally vast. It is by far the biggest and most pressing issue that faces humanity, and now we enter an era in which we can finally start to do something about it.

Publication Date: 24 February 2021

Publication Site: Fight Aging

Mapping the World’s Youngest and Oldest Countries

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Throughout history, it was typical to see both birth and death rates at higher levels. But today, in most parts of the world, women are having fewer children, and innovations in healthcare and technology mean we are all living longer. The average person today lives to 72.6 years old, while the rate of births per woman has fallen to 2.5.

These trends have drastically altered the demographics of mature economies, resulting in a much older population. In many developing countries, however, births still outweigh deaths, resulting in populations that skew younger.

This visualization uses data from the World Bank to examine the countries with the highest shares of old and young people.

Author(s): Avery Koop

Publication Date: 12 February 2021

Publication Site: Visual Capitalist

THE CONSEQUENCES OF CURRENT BENEFIT ADJUSTMENTS FOR EARLY AND DELAYED CLAIMING

Link: https://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/wp_2021-3_.pdf

Abstract
Workers have the option of claiming Social Security retirement benefits at any age between 62 and 70, with later claiming resulting in higher monthly benefits. These higher monthly benefits reflect an actuarial adjustment designed to keep lifetime benefits equal, for an individual with average life expectancy, regardless of when benefits are claimed. The actuarial
adjustments, however, are decades old. Since then, interest rates have declined; life expectancy has increased; and longevity improvements have been much greater for high earners than low earners. This paper explores how changes in longevity and interest rates have affected the
fairness of the actuarial adjustment over time and how the disparity in life expectancy affects the equity across the income distribution. It also looks at the impact of these developments on the costs of the program and the progressivity of benefits.


The paper found that:
• The increases in life expectancy and the decline in interest rates argue for smaller reductions for early claiming and a smaller delayed retirement credit for later claiming.
• Specifically, the benefit at 62 should equal 77.5 percent, as opposed to 70.0 percent, of the full age-67 benefit, and the benefit at 70 should equal 119.9 percent, instead of 124.0 percent, of the full benefit.
• The outdated actuarial adjustments are a modest moneymaker for the program – about $1.9 billion in 2018, with most of the gains coming from those claiming at 62, who are typically lower earners. Surprisingly, the correlations between earnings and life expectancy and between earnings and claiming behavior have only modest implications for both the cost and progressivity of Social Security benefits.
• Finally, the cost and distributional effects of earnings-related life expectancy and claiming cannot be addressed through the actuarial adjustments for early and late claiming. They reflect the fact that high earners get their large benefits for a long time and low earners get their more modest benefits for a shorter time.

Authors: Andrew G. Biggs, Anqi Chen, and Alicia H. Munnell

Publication Date: January 2021

Publication Site: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College