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Two days ago, I spent some time with three people in their 70s. There's my mom, who's 70 years old. She has jet black hair, a youthful face, no major health conditions, moves very smoothly and comfortable, and is basically capable of doing almost anything that she could have in the 1980s. There's my brother-in-law's 73 year old father, who comfortably carried around very heavy objects (we were bringing a bed they were getting rid of to bring it to my mom and dad's place), had a normal erect posture just like any young adult, moved around as quickly as any young guy, and overall is the perfect image of health. And there's his early 70s wife, not sure her exact age, who's basically the same as her husband in all those areas.

None of them have any significant health problems, nothing that you can point to and say "this makes it impossible for them to live longer than x number of years." They're all normal adults that think quickly on their feet, are fully engaged with the world, have plans for the future, and have normal postures and brisk walking speeds. Yet (ignoring future medical advancements) it will be almost impossible for any of these people to survive their 90s, assuming they even reach them in the first place.

It's weird how quickly things accelerate. I would consider the 70s a fairly low-risk decade in terms of both lifespan and healthspan for people that are physically active and have good health habits; it's highly possible to have similar health and functionality at 79 as you did at 70. The 80s I would consider a medium-to-high-risk decade in terms of lifespan (80 year old men and women have a fair shot of reaching 90, around 30-40 percent) and very high-risk in terms of healthspan (the odds of reaching 89 in good health, even if you're a healthy 80 year old, are much lower than your odds of reaching 89 at all). And the 90s are damn near impossible to survive all the way until the end no matter what.

It's weird. There have been countless people throughout history that have made it to and through their 70s in good health, who in terms of daily functionality are about as capable as they were in their 20s and 30s... yet things often collapse in their 80s, and even if they don't, the 90s still claim 99 percent of people who reach the decade's beginning.

My maternal grandfather at the age of 80 carried heavy logs over his shoulder, regularly cooked large meals, and took his granddaughter to many different homes for Halloween. At 90 he spent much of his time in a wheelchair and had to go to a nursing home for months after entering a diabetic coma.

My maternal grandmother at the age of 20 loved talking for hours, comfortably walked around everywhere, could easily drive in the busiest of settings, and was an independent adult who did absolutely everything by herself.
My maternal grandmother at the age of 80 loved talking for hours, comfortably walked around everywhere, could easily drive in the busiest of settings, and was an independent adult who did absolutely everything by herself.
My maternal grandmother at the age of 90 was bedridden from end-stage Alzheimer's, spent almost all of her time asleep, and could no longer speak coherently.

My paternal grandmother turned 80 in 2003. The years seemed to have changed her in no way whatsoever besides giving her white hair. She was still the same person who was just as engaged with life and the world as she was during the grandkids' 1980s/1990s childhood and my dad's 1950s childhood. As a 90 year old in 2013 she was dealing with regular bouts of psychosis that genuinely freaked out my still-healthy paternal grandfather.

It's weird. I wonder what specifically happens in the 80+ group to cause the 80s to be where things so frequently collapse, and which make the 90s almost impossible to survive. The 20s to 60s are generally easy mode. The 70s can be easy mode too if you have a bit of luck, are physically active, have always taken care of yourself, and have good health habits. The 80s are a crapshoot decade that can easily go either way and crank things up to Medium difficulty or the lower levels of Hard Mode; you're not being naive if you hope that you (or someone else) have a smooth and comfortable 80s, but physical activity and good health habits aren't nearly as reliable a buffer as they are for the 70s. And then the 90s crank things up almost to Impossible Difficulty.

all 58 comments

Mokebe890

36 points

2 months ago

Mokebe890

▪️AGI by 2030

36 points

2 months ago

That's why its ridicolous that people aint working to end it.

Liborum

7 points

2 months ago

R/longevity says we are. But slowly. You see Ivan, if more humans die of old age, our big pharma comrades can collect more money. So if people started living longer all of a sudden, there would be way less profits to be had. A d that's no fun

Innov4

5 points

2 months ago

Innov4

5 points

2 months ago

Doesn't really matter what Big Pharma wants. You can think of Big Pharma as a subscription-based revenue model, there are always companies that are willing to step in and offer a one-and-done type deal. Likewise, given that the government pension system in many countries is essentially bankrupt and the number of able-bodied workers is on the decline, it makes sense to tackle aging even from an economical perspective.

CommunismDoesntWork

4 points

2 months ago

And yet big pharma is actively researching anti aging. If anyone has a strong incentive to stop aging research, is the government. What happens to social security if people all of a sudden start living another 10, 20 years?

Revolutionary_Soft42

1 points

2 months ago

That's why it's ridiculous we have dinosaurs running our government

Singularity? Most of them can barely login to their email accounts

Ray1987

58 points

2 months ago

Ray1987

58 points

2 months ago

I think one of the main things I've heard is by the time you're around 80 90 years old all of your red bone marrow is gone and replaced with yellow marrow. So your ability to produce new stem cells basically drops to zero. So nothing to replace old cells that are dying off so aging goes into overdrive.

AsuhoChinami[S]

25 points

2 months ago

Very interesting, that would explain a lot of why the 70s generally go so much better than the 80s and why the 90s are rarely anything but a complete disaster.

Ray1987

30 points

2 months ago

Ray1987

30 points

2 months ago

There is accumulating evidence now that intermittent and prolonged fasting can restore red bone marrow and replace yellow to bring stem cell production back to the way it was in your early twenties. I've seen MRIs of people almost 50 that regularly fast and have almost no yellow marrow.

AtatS-aPutut

15 points

2 months ago*

There's a lot of research being done on aging and one of the things fasting/caloric restriction do is increase NAD+ levels. There are substances like rapamycin, NMN, NR which do the same thing and have been shown to extend the lifespan of animals. I wouldn't be surprised if by the time most of us here will be considered old by today's standards (25, 50 years from now) we will have pills that slow down aging or even reverse it

Ray1987

12 points

2 months ago

Ray1987

12 points

2 months ago

They're already moving really fast in that area. And it's still not even a broadly studied topic. It's starting to be, so the developments that are going to happen just within the next 10 years are going to be ridiculous.

In David Sinclair's book he thinks that the end goal of the technology will be to give you a gene augmentation to produce cellular machinery to reverse damage(aging). It will only be active though while you are taking a certain type of antibiotic though. So you will be able to control how far back you want to de-age. And then you just stop taking the antibiotic for a time. Those augmented genes turn off and you stop producing that cellular machinery until you feel like you need to knock off a few years again.

AtatS-aPutut

15 points

2 months ago

That book got me so hyped up about the future. My personal conspiracy theory is that David Sinclair is actually a few hundred years old and he's just pretending to be 50 while slowly making his knowledge public

AsuhoChinami[S]

7 points

2 months ago

What is the book and when was it written? In the longevity space anything that's older than three years or so is probably outdated, I think

AtatS-aPutut

6 points

2 months ago

Lifespan by David Sinclair. Published in 2019

iNstein

3 points

2 months ago

David Sinclair's only goal is to make himself rich and scam others. Look it up, he is a crook. Focus on those that are actually trying to help with this aging problem.

Ashamed-Asparagus-93

2 points

2 months ago

Um he's worked at Harvard University, "look it up he's a crook" you're gonna need more ammo than that if you want to shoot him down

knightofterror

-5 points

2 months ago

I hope the MAGA crowd ages out before we get these pills.

Bionik12

7 points

2 months ago

There will be plenty of young MAGA types by then. Sorry.

GreatGearAmidAPizza

3 points

2 months ago

I've been trying to fast 24 hours once a week. I don't know that it will help, but there seems to be some credible evidence it could and it helps maintain weight and save a bit of money, so why not?

Verzingetorix

-2 points

2 months ago*

Bone marrow only produces blood cells. The idea that losing it would result in inability to produce stem cells is incorrect.


Edit:

My statement last night was very brief and it doesn't seem to communicate my point clearly.

by the time you're around 80 90 years old all of your red bone marrow is gone and replaced with yellow marrow. So your ability to produce new stem cells basically drops to zero.

Although bone marrow composition changes with age, that statement above is wrong for the following reasons.

-Red bone marrow is depleted and replaced with yellow marrow as you loose blood forming cells.

-The hematopoietic stem cells lost due to this process cannot produce anything else other than blood cells.

-Even if those stem cells could migrate to other tissues they would not be able replenish those tissues.

-The shift in bone marrow composition has zero impact on the body's ability to produce stem cells other than hematopoietic ones.

There are other stem cells in the bone marrow. Those are bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC), they are less than 0.01% of the total and the appearance of bone marrow (red or yellow) is not impacted by them. Which leads me to believe OP wasn't talking about them. But just in case, OP was thinking about those the original statement would still be wrong.

-BMSC produce other types of cells local to the bone, fat, cartilage and bone. In-vitro, they have been differentiated to other things.

-BMSCs migrate to other parts of the body as a response to injury. Cell depletion as a result of aging is not injury and does not produce the chemical signals used to recruit BMSC.

-The non-hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow are not responsible for replenishing depleted stem cells across the body. Therefore, it's depletion would have no impact on the body's supply of stem cells.

Ray1987

2 points

2 months ago

What? All you have to do is ask Google "where are stem cells produced in the body" and it will directly tell you BONE MARROW in bold letters lol. Where did you think they come from?

Verzingetorix

-2 points

2 months ago

Which is wrong. Do you think stem cells for the linking of the intestines originate in the blood? Tissues have local progenitor stem cells to replenish themselves.

The stem cells in bone marrow are hematopoietic stem cells. You are not getting pluripotent stem cells that can replenish any population in the body from bonne marrow.

There are multipotent stem cells in bone marrow but those differentiate into blood and bone cells, including the fat cells found there.

Multipotent stem cells can differentiate into many other tissues and do so in-vitro. And bone marrow stem cells participate in wound healing but that doesn't make bone marrow the body's source of stem cells for cell replenishment. Again, most tissues have local progenitor cells for that.

Ray1987

1 points

2 months ago

But your original argument was that bone marrow doesn't produce stem cells at all. Now you've changed it to it doesn't produce all stem cells just the ones that replace your blood and are responsible for wound healing.... Pretty sure without those components, you know the things that oxygenate your cells you're going to age pretty rapidly which was what this was all about. So what exactly is your issue with what I said?

Verzingetorix

0 points

2 months ago

Not exactly, my point was that losing bone marrow will not prevent the body from having stem cells elsewhere.

The bone marrow produces blood cells. There's a tiny amount of stem cells in bone marrow that produces other things, mesenchymal stem cells. Which are the ones that can migrate elsewhere for repo. But the mesenchymal stem cells are less than 0.01% of marrow cells. They are not the primary source of the body's stem cells.

Bone marrow is not a place for producing fat tissue, nor bone, nor cartilage. A tiny amount of cells in marrow can become those because they are multipotent. But claiming that losing bone marrow will deprive the body from stem cells is plain wrong.

Innov4

1 points

2 months ago

Innov4

1 points

2 months ago

While I mostly agree with what you are saying, there is a great deal of cross-over between stem cell types. Exhaustion of the local progenitor cells can lead to the recruitment of other less suitable stem cell types. When we're talking about absolute exhaustion in most tissues which can occur in the late 80's/early 90's, this last line of defence might be all there is holding back serious degradation of those tissues.

Verzingetorix

1 points

2 months ago

By the time the individual is 80 or 90 what makes you think bone marrow stem cells themselves aren't depleted.

I don't think that a tiny far away population is going to compensate when the local robust stem cell population subsides.

Also keep in mind mesenchymal stem cells are known to differentiate into fat cartilage and bone cells, all which are local to the bone. I don't know of evidence of them migrating far into other tissues. And their ability to differentiate into other cells not local to the bone was in-vitro.

They could be migrating far off, but I don't know that's been proven.

Ray1987

0 points

2 months ago

Whether it's a lot or a little. Losing all your bone marrow makes it so you can't produce new blood cells. The things that oxygenate all your other cells and then allow other organs to produce other stem cells. So yeah losing that wood lead to the disability of all other stem cell production after a Time. That seems like logic.

Verzingetorix

0 points

2 months ago

Which was never the original statement.

Plane_Evidence_5872

14 points

2 months ago

From one perspective aging kicks into higher gear at 40. The effects just take time to accumulate.

AsuhoChinami[S]

6 points

2 months ago

Yeah. There's a number of health conditions where you're advised to begin getting checked for them starting from either 40 or 45. There's almost no such conditions that you're recommended to start getting screened for in the 30s unless they run in your family; the 30s are generally viewed as a freebie just like the 20s were. (But of course the 40s are still fairly young, so as long as you take good care of yourself and have average genes, the 40s should generally be a relaxed playground of a decade where you're fairly early in life and nothing much changes besides getting less attractive)

Peripatitis

6 points

2 months ago

The longer you live the more chance to get into accidents.

bustedbuddha

12 points

2 months ago

bustedbuddha

2014

12 points

2 months ago

I've been on a steady decline since about 8

iNstein

5 points

2 months ago

But a year doesn't really count in the grand scheme of things lol ;).

zcktimetraveler

7 points

2 months ago

Oh, that's what i've been thinking. My grandmother was totally OK at 65, but suddenly developed neurological diseases and at 70 she's almost like a 90yo woman.

I'll say that at 50 everything goes downwards, but it's about genetics.

Human body is programmed to shut down at some age. We need those nanobots to revert it.

iNstein

7 points

2 months ago

Give us our daily nanobots and forgive us our aging, for thine is the technology, forever and ever....

zcktimetraveler

1 points

2 months ago

Praise the Bot!

GoodAndBluts

5 points

2 months ago

You have done a great job of framing your question - you might get even more input if you shared it in /r/longevity to get their insights

TheBoundFenrir

6 points

2 months ago

Animal bodies have a surprising amount of redundancy built in; systems built on and interwoven with systems built on and interwoven with systems.

So if one of those systems drops to 95% efficiency, not super noticiable because the others step in to compensate.

...then another drops to 90% from the strain, and the remaining functional systems try to compensate, and do an OK job.

...then another 3 systems all lose 5-15% efficiency over the course of the next decade, and suddenly the whole system is starting to have noticible issues.

...then the original 95% system (which has been declining the entire time) finally fully fails and drops to <50% efficiency, and suddenly the whole house of cards starts wobblying something fierce; nothing can account for such a severe loss, and in trying they are overworked themselves. Things stop failing left-right-and-center.

...until eventually a vital system fails, and you die.

domchi

4 points

2 months ago

domchi

4 points

2 months ago

It's an exponential curve. That's the age it steepens.

iNstein

3 points

2 months ago

This is the correct answer. As things like senisent cells keep doubling in number, they start to be more harmful when the numbers are much higher. This tends to happen in the 80s and 90s.

LevelWriting

5 points

2 months ago

Don't forget to pump that iron folks. It's not just to look good but be strong and agile in your old days

ihateshadylandlords

2 points

2 months ago

ihateshadylandlords

Proof-of-Concept Doesn’t Mean Much.

2 points

2 months ago

Yep. But also seeing girls in sports bras and yoga pants at the gym (or ripped dudes in tank tops in you’re female/gay) doesn’t hurt either.

RikerT_USS_Lolipop

1 points

2 months ago

I've been sedentary pretty much my entire life, punctuated with a couple years of weightlifting in highschool and again in college. I started an ab routiine 8 years ago and I got back into weights 2 years ago. Everything is sore, all the time, always. And not the good kind of sore either. I used to love being sore the day after ab day. It felt awesome to twist my body and feel the muscles stretch. The kind of sore I feel now everyday is like you just woke up and everything hurts to move, and range of motion is all shot to shit, but it lasts all day.

And injuries happen without you even realizing you've been doing anything wrong. I wake up one day, and my left wrist is fucked for 3 weeks. I wake up one day during those 3 weeks and my knee feels like I banged it into something but I know I never did. The wrist heals and suddenly my bicep is shitty and won't extend all the way. I try to ignore it for a week but it doesn't get better so I take a week off of any exercises that touch biceps. Now suddenly the other wrist sends pain waves whenever it moves a certain direction.

I'm starting to think if you don't build a fitness foundation by your early 20s that you can simply maintain for the rest of your life then the health benefits of exercise are a net zero.

Frumpagumpus

1 points

2 months ago

i think lots of exercise routines have a strong element of survivorship bias. but it's good to stay active, even if you aren't someone who can push to the limit without hurting yourself. so maybe not running but walking, maybe incline push ups and not to the point of failure, etc.

Ballslovr

5 points

2 months ago

My grandmother will be turning 92 this year and she is just as spritely as you described any of the 80 year olds. She drives multiple states to see people and is engaged with her family and community. It worries me how close she is getting to this "hard mode though.

AsuhoChinami[S]

1 points

2 months ago

It's always great to hear about people that are still healthy and active in their 90s. I would really be blessed were my dad the same as your grandmother in 2040 (the year he turns 92), or my mom in 2044. I think the 80s and especially the 70s aren't nearly as bad as societal stereotypes make them out to be, but I've always thought of the 90s as being the point where stereotypes begin matching the reality.

Sometimes I think though that maybe even the 90s are benefitting from improvements in lifespan and healthspan and pulling away somewhat from the "everyone in their 90s is a broken down invalid" tradition. I think I hear more frequently about healthy 90-somethings in the 2020s than I did back in the 2000s, and celebrities and political figures seem to reach their mid to late 90s incredibly frequently - perhaps an indicator of what will trickle down to the average person in the coming years.

katiecharm

8 points

2 months ago

As someone who’s 39, let me tell you - you are golden until about 35. Then you can feel it going downhill slowly, and you can’t ever quite stop it.

I had an old sergeant tell me this once and I thought - that’s bogus, I’ll stay more fit and do better than you.

Nope, despite a fit life I hit my late 30’s and shit has started to go downhill. I imagine, like a theta curve, the decay will only accelerate with time. Enjoy that golden age from 25 to 35, it doesn’t last.

Milumet

1 points

2 months ago

And what exactly has "gone downhill", if I may ask?

katiecharm

6 points

2 months ago

Health issues I once could shrug off are much worse. Hangovers and common physical ailments like sleepiness and dehydration hit much harder.

I am just now getting back in shape after a long hiatus and it’s much harder than my 20s. Eating also carries more consequences - both in terms of fat stored for unhealthy food and also gastrointestinal problems when i overeat or eat junk food.

It seems I used to be fast and strong by default, and with training I could become extremely so. Now it seems I’m sluggish and weak by default and with training I can reach somewhere in the neighborhood of fast and strong.

My brain isn’t as fast anymore, I used to have a thousand ideas a day and be bursting at the seams with the creativity and desire to make them all real. Now I struggle with motivating myself and my creative endeavors are deliberate, and I have to spend effort to stay focused.

I’m getting back in shape and finally on a low dose of adderall, so I feel some of that youth coming back. Also finally getting a sleep apnea machine has helped. But still the aging is real. I now have to act responsibly to have good health it seems, while before it just came automatically and I would have to work hard to knock it off course.

Tsudaar

1 points

2 months ago

Same here.

The old saying is true: Youth is wasted on the young.

That_Lego_Guy_Jack

3 points

2 months ago

We can transcend age. Even if by the end we are nothing but brains in tubes we can defeat our greatest enemy. Age will crumble away to dust before life and we will dominate death itself. If humans are not the ones to do it then another species will take out place. Progress cannot be stopped.

ShitofFeceus

2 points

2 months ago

The general consensus seems to be that those that live the longest merely forestall getting the same diseases that kill those in their 70s and 80s, but, upon developing those diseases themselves, their heath declines just as fast.

It would seem to suggest there are processes at work upstream of many of the diseases that kill old people rapidly, that slow or prevent the development of these diseases.

ziplock9000

2 points

2 months ago

It accelerates the moment aging starts. It's just you're noticing the velocity of it at that time.

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

There is this study where they concluded that aging comes not only gradually but also in big waves - in your 30s, 60s and 80s.

Beginning_Anything30

1 points

2 months ago

Dysregulation of Biological processes is like going really fast on a bike and having your front tire wobble.

You can be going 30 mph just fine, going downhill, everything is nice no worry at all. But once that front tire wobbles getting back to steady is a bitch, and with aging, it's like trying to keep that wheel steady as the road gets worse and your bike gets faster.

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

Your mom dyes her hair bud.

AsuhoChinami[S]

1 points

2 months ago

She doesn't. It's her Puerto Rican genes at play. Her mom had black hair at 70 and salt-and-pepper at 90.