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Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
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Over a million in Britain could live beyond 100

Feb 12, 2006 - 6:26:00 PM , Reviewed by: Priya Saxena
"It is going to become extremely interesting in a few decades as people begin to reach 100 more regularly"

[RxPG] More than a million people now in their 30s in Britain could live to 100 years and beyond, with improved health care contributing to the global rise in life expectancy.

According to official estimates, the population of centenarians is expected to soar from the present figure of 10,000 to 1.2 million by 2074 in Britain, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.

The projections mean today's 30 somethings have a one in eight chance of living to be 100, while thousands could live to be 110 or older, said David Blane, professor of medical sociology at Imperial College London.

Combinations of factors are thought to have contributed to the increase in longevity, he said. These include better medical care, the elimination of disease and better nutrition.

Improved treatment for heart disease and cancer, improved diet and lifestyle, especially among the affluent, are among the reasons for the global rise in life expectancy, he said.

And the decline of heavy industry means workers are far less likely to be exposed to the health risks and dangers or heavy machinery. The increased use of cholesterol-lowering drugs in recent years has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Under new prescription guidance to GPs, up to one in 10 adults could end up taking statins to prevent cardiovascular disease.

This could save 20,000 lives a year while some experts believe a quarter of Britons could end up taking the drugs for life. "It is going to become extremely interesting in a few decades as people begin to reach 100 more regularly," Blane said.

The growth in longevity would also have a big impact on the size of the British population as a whole, with the number of people living in the country growing to 75 million by 2074, based on these figures.

The population could soar even higher, to 90 million, if the highest projections for fertility rates and immigration are also factored in.

Publication: Indo-Asian News Service

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