More Americans Live Past 100, Report
There are not only many Americans who are crossing the 100-year-old mark, but more are expected to join that group of centenarians, according to a new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the turn of the millennium, there were 50,281 centenarians in 2000. But in 2014, there were 72,197 centenarians, which showed a 43.6 percent rise, with more than 80 percent of the humans being female, said the report.
Improving healthcare, better medicines and healthier lifestyles have contributed to it.
"In the early 1900s and before, people could count on losing about a quarter of their children to infectious diseases and other public health problems," Dr. Thomas Perls, a geriatrician at Boston Medical Center, told Reuters.
Hence, people who are more likely to cross the 100-year mark are also more likely survive childhood illnesses, Perls explained. People born after World War II, who were called the baby boomers, are more likely to add to the increase in the centenarians.
Due to genetics and lifestyle influencing women's health, there are more women than men who cross the 100-year mark. "Women are definitely winning the longevity race," Perls said.
With the rise in the centenarian population, their death rate too increases, according to the report. The 2000 data shows that the death rate increased by 119 percent for Alzheimer's disease, 88 percent for hypertension, 34 percent for chronic lower respiratory diseases and 33 percent for other injuries in 2014. Death rates decreased by 31 percent for stroke, 48 percent for pneumonia and influenza and 24 percent for heart disease.
The main reasons for the death rate recorded for centenarians are heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, cancer, pneumonia and influenza.