Facts on Aging



  • Most people live for between 60 and 100 years, although a few live even longer than this.
  • The longest officially confirmed age is that of Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997, aged 122 years and 164 days.
  • Life expectancy is how long statistics suggest you arc likely to live.
  • On average in Europe, men can expect to live about 75 years and women about 80. However, because health is improving generally, people are now living longer.
  • As adults grow older, their bodies begin to deteriorate (fail). Senses such as hearing, sight and taste weaken.
  • Hair goes grey as pigment (colour) cells stop working.
  • Muscles weaken as fibres die.
  • Bones become more brittle as they lose calcium. Cartilage shrinks between joints, causing stiffness.
  • Skin wrinkles as the rubbery elastin and collagen fibres that support it sag. Exposure to sunlight speeds this up, which is why the face and hands get wrinkles first.
  • Circulation and breathing weaken. Blood vessels may become stiff and clogged, forcing the heart to work harder and raising blood pressure.