Monday, September 23, 2013

What do the extremely old ultimately die of?

From this article (fascinating throughout):
Professor Coles has done 11 autopsies on supercentenarians and finds that most die of congestive heart failure secondary to “systemic TTR amyloidosis”, a thickening of the blood. The rest tend to inhale food particles and get pneumonia. It is not really clear why women live longer than men; probably something to do with their having a different cocktail of steroid hormones.
It seems that the cardiovascular system is the final point of vulnerability if one makes it past 110 years of age without dying of cancer. 

h/t Tyler Cowen

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