Could we live to 150 years old?


If I told you, it’s possible to live to 150, would you believe me? And if it was possible, would you even want to? Our vision of old age is so intertwined with frailty, disease and loss of mobility, that the idea of living longer, isn’t necessarily appealing. As Abraham Lincoln is famously quoted for saying, ‘In the end it’s not the years in your life that counts. It’s the life in your years.’

But what if we could have it all? What if we could live into our 90s, or even as centenarians (100+), disease and pain free? What if you could enjoy everything you love about life - to the full - just with a few more miles on the clock. Think the physical ability to ski or skydive with your great grandchildren, or the mental ability to finally learn that instrument or language that alluded you for the first century of your life! Now are you interested?

Our preoccupation with longevity – both prolonging youth and dodging death – is nothing new for humankind. The fountain of youth features in the writings of Herodotus, as early as the 5th Century BC. But more recently, some of Silicon Valley’s ultra-wealthy are investing hundreds of millions in longevity science. Google formed its own aging research company Calico in 2013, and 45-year-old tech billionaire Bryan Johnson, spends $2million a year trying to engineer his body into that of an 18-year-old.

Increasing lifespan isn’t the only aim though – improving healthspan is paramount - meaning the period of life spent in good health, free from the chronic diseases and disabilities of aging. In the field of anti-aging medicine, the distinction is made between chronological age - the number of years which have passed since your birth – and biological age – how old your cells and tissues are and how well they function, based on the physiological evidence.


Life Expectancy

In 1900, the life expectancy from birth was 46.81 years. Today, in 2024, that has almost doubled to 81.77 in the UK. In this context it’s not so hard to imagine that people being born today, could potentially live to 150. Researchers at GERO.AI have found exactly that. They analysed 70,000 participants up to age 85 based on their risk of heart conditions, their ability to fight disease and cognitive impairment, and concluded the ‘absolute limit’ of the human lifespan to be between 100 and 150.


It isn’t as if we don’t have a model for what a healthy, happy, long life can look like. The Guinness record holder for the oldest verified human - Jeanne Calment – has a documented lifespan of 122 years and 164 days. She was still riding a bicycle at 100, lived alone until she was 110 and took on her first acting role in the film Vincent and Me at 114!

What has increased longevity historically?

Improved sanitation (particularly the invention of the toilet), pasteurisation and antibiotics are perhaps the top three things that have made a drastic improvement to life expectancy throughout the 20th Century. Childhood immunisations, medical advances in treating adult diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and lifestyle changes including a decline in smoking, have also undoubtedly played their part.

But what’s on the horizon now in medical advancements, which will dictate the increase of life expectancy through the remainder of the 21st century? What is predicted to impact the increase in average lifespan and indeed ‘healthspan’?


What changes in medicine are extending lifespan now and in the near future?

Regenerative Medicine

The human body has the natural ability to heal itself in many ways. Broken skin heals, bones mend, but regenerative medicine looks to harness this, to encourage and support the body in repairing, regenerating and restoring itself. Also known as stem cell therapy, regenerative medicine promotes the repair response of diseased, dysfunctional, or injured tissue and is earmarked as the next chapter in organ transplantation. Over the last decade, researchers have also made significant advances in stem cell technology, biomaterials, nanotechnology, and immune engineering, which may be applied as regenerative therapies for the spinal cord.

Use of AI

There is already evidence that AI algorithms are performing on par or better than humans in various tasks; “AI is being successfully applied for image analysis in radiology, pathology, and dermatology, with diagnostic speed exceeding, and accuracy paralleling, medical experts.” [1] There is also great optimism that (AI) can be applied to provide substantial improvements in other areas of healthcare from diagnostics to treatment.

Robotic Surgery

Robot assisted surgery allows doctors to perform many types of complex procedures with greater precision and more control. Normally a robotic surgery system includes a camera arm and mechanical arms, with surgical instruments attached to them. The surgeon controls the arms, which provides more precision, and uses the camera arm to see a magnified, high definition, 3D view of the surgical site. This means surgeons can perform procedures through tiny openings in skin or tissues, making them less invasive, with potential for fewer complications and quicker recoveries.


Advanced Gene Testing

Genetic testing can be used to reveal any changes or mutations in your genes that could have the potential to cause illness or disease in the future. Genetic testing involves examining your DNA, the database which carries instructions to enable your bodies functions. This can mean that preventative treatments can be performed to help avoid illness and disease for those who might otherwise be susceptible.

Jim Mellon – author of ‘Juvenescence: Investing in the age of longevity’ concedes that ‘people might be sceptical about the fact that anti-aging technologies are working now.’ But he says, ‘the fact is that this is finally happening, and we need to seize the moment’.

Health insurance can provide access to medicines and treatments not necessarily available on the NHS and allows you to prioritise your health and wellbeing. If you would like to learn more about how private medical insurance could help you to live a longer, healthier life, speak to one of our experts today for free, impartial advice.


[1] Miller D.D., Brown E.W. Artificial intelligence in medical practice: the question to the answer? Am J Med. 2018;131(2):129–133. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]


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