Document Detail


Human mortality improvement in evolutionary context.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23071331     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Life expectancy is increasing in most countries and has exceeded 80 in several, as low-mortality nations continue to make progress in averting deaths. The health and economic implications of mortality reduction have been given substantial attention, but the observed malleability of human mortality has not been placed in a broad evolutionary context. We quantify the rate and amount of mortality reduction by comparing a variety of human populations to the evolved human mortality profile, here estimated as the average mortality pattern for ethnographically observed hunter-gatherers. We show that human mortality has decreased so substantially that the difference between hunter-gatherers and today's lowest mortality populations is greater than the difference between hunter-gatherers and wild chimpanzees. The bulk of this mortality reduction has occurred since 1900 and has been experienced by only about 4 of the roughly 8,000 human generations that have ever lived. Moreover, mortality improvement in humans is on par with or greater than the reductions in mortality in other species achieved by laboratory selection experiments and endocrine pathway mutations. This observed plasticity in age-specific risk of death is at odds with conventional theories of aging.
Authors:
Oskar Burger; Annette Baudisch; James W Vaupel
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-10-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-01     Completed Date:  2013-01-08     Revised Date:  2013-07-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  18210-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, D-18057 Rostock, Germany. burger@demogr.mpg.de
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animals
Biological Evolution*
Humans
Mortality*
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
(P30-AG034424/AG/NIA NIH HHS
Comments/Corrections

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


Previous Document:  Structural basis for multifunctional roles of mammalian aminopeptidase N.
Next Document:  Induced pluripotent stem cell model recapitulates pathologic hallmarks of Gaucher disease.