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Encyclopedia > Centenarian

A centenarian is a person who has attained the age of 100 years or more. The term is associated with longevity because average life expectancies across the world are far from 100. Much rarer, a supercentenarian is a person who has lived to the age of 110 or more. It has been suggested that Longevity genes be merged into this article or section. ... A year is the time between two recurrences of an event related to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ... Longevity is defined as long life or the length of a persons life (life expectancy). ... World map of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure defined as the expected (mean) survival of human beings based upon a number of criteria such as gender and geographic location. ... A supercentenarian (sometimes hyphenated as super-centenarian) is someone who has reached the age of 110 years or more, something achieved by only one in a thousand centenarians (0. ...


The United States currently has the greatest number of centenarians in the world, numbering over 55,000 in the year 2005. The U.S. number is partly a function of America's large population in 1890-1905, and an increased emphasis on Long-term Care (LTC) facilities. Japan is second, with 25,000. Many experts attribute this (and Japan's very high life expectancy) to the Japanese diet, which is particularly low in fats. Japanese centenarians receive a silver cup and a certificate from the Prime Minister of Japan upon their 100th birthday, honouring them for their longevity and prosperity in their lives. In Japan, September 15 is "National Respect for the Aged Day". LTC is also the U.S. Army abbreviation for Lieutenant Colonel. ... World map of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure defined as the expected (mean) survival of human beings based upon a number of criteria such as gender and geographic location. ... In nutrition, the diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. ... The Prime Minister of Japan (内閣総理大臣 Naikaku sōri daijin) is the usual English-language term used for the head of government of Japan, although the literal translation of the Japanese name for the office is Prime Minister of the Cabinet. ... A childs first birthday party For other uses of the term, see Birthday (disambiguation). ... September 15 is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years). ... Respect for the Aged Day is a Japanese holiday celebrated annually on September 15 which honors elderly citizens. ...


In the United States, centenarians traditionally receive a letter from the president upon reaching their 100th birthday, congratulating them for their longevity. Willard Scott of NBC's Today show has also named them on air since 1983. In the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms, the Queen sends greetings (formerly as a telegram) on the 100th birthday and on every birthday starting with the 105th. Centenarians born in Ireland receive a €2,500 "Centenarians' Bounty" and a letter from the President of Ireland, even if they are resident abroad.[1] The presidential seal was used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... Willard Herman Scott, Jr. ... It has been suggested that NBC Radio City Studios, NBC Studios be merged into this article or section. ... Today, commonly referred to as The Today Show to avoid ambiguity, is an American morning news and talk show airing weekday mornings on the NBC television network. ... A Commonwealth Realm is any one of the 16 sovereign states that recognize Queen Elizabeth II as their Queen and head of state. ... This is a list of British monarchs, that is, the monarchs on the thrones of some of the various kingdoms that have existed on, or incorporated, the island of Great Britain, namely: England (united with Wales from 1536) up to 1707; Scotland up to 1707; The Kingdom of Great Britain... Telegraphy (from the Greek words tele = far away and grapho = write) is the long distance transmission of written messages without physical transport of letters, originally over wire. ... Official Seal of the President of Ireland Mary McAleese, the current President of Ireland. ... The Irish diaspora consists of Irish emigrants and their descendants in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa and states of the Caribbean and continental Europe. ...


Among Hindus, people who touch the feet of elders are often blessed with "May you live a hundred years". In Sweden, the tradition birthday song states, May he live to his hundredth year. In Poland, Sto lat, a wish to live a hundred years, is a traditional form of praise and good wishes; the Jewish tradition, however, is more ambitious, "May you live as long as Moses", or 120 years. Chinese emperors were hailed to live ten thousand years. In Italy, "A hundred of these days!" (cento di questi giorni) is an augury for birthdays, to live enough for celebrating other 100 birthdays. This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... Sto lat (One Hundred Years) is a traditional Polish song that is sung to express good wishes to a person. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt Moses or Mosheh (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: موسى, ; Geez: ሙሴ Musse) was an early Biblical Hebrew religious leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian. ... The phrase (live for) ten thousand years (Traditional Chinese: 萬歲; Simplified Chinese: 万岁, pinyin: wànsùi) in Chinese, banzai (万歳) in Japanese, and manse (만세; 萬世) in Korean was used to bless emperors in East Asia. ...

Contents

Were there centenarians in ancient times?

While the density of centenarians per capita was much less in ancient times than today, the data suggest that reaching the age of 100 was not impossible then. Though ancient demographics are biased in favor of wealthy or powerful individuals rather than the ordinary person, it is unscientific to suggest that "ordinary persons" lived longer. Grmek and Gourevitch speculate that during the Classical Greek Period, anyone who made it past the age of five years — surviving all the common childhood illness of that day — had a reasonable chance of living to a ripe old age. Life expectancy at 400 B.C. was estimated to be around 30 years of age. One demographer of ancient civilizations reported that Greek men lived to 45 years (based on a sample size of 91), while women lived to 36.2 years (based on a sample size of 55). Curiously, the gender statistics are inverted compared to today, since child-birth was a much more traumatic experience at that time than now, and it certainly skewed female statistics downward. It was common for average citizens to take great care in their hygiene (sanitation), Mediterranean diet (fish, figs, olive oil, wine, etc.), and exercise program (sports/gymnasium), although there was much more male trauma per capita than today, due to military service being virtually universal for citizens, and war at that time being a far more visceral and bloody affair than today. This also biased the statistics for men downward. [Ref. Mirko Grmek and Danielle Gourevitch, Illness in Antiquity (Fayard; 1998).] Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC - 400s BC - 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC Years: 405 BC 404 BC 403 BC 402 BC 401 BC - 400 BC - 399 BC 398 BC...


A remarkable statement mentioned by Diogenes Laertius (c. 250) is the earliest (or at least one of the earliest) references about (plausible centenarian) longevity given by a scientist, the astronomer Hipparchus of Nicea (c. 185 – c. 120 B.C.), who, according to the doxographer, assured that the philosopher Democritus of Abdera (c. 470/460 – c. 370/360 B.C.) lived 109 years. All other accounts of Democritus given by the ancients appear to agree in the fact that the philosopher lived over 100 years. Such longevity would not be dramatically out of line with that of other ancient Greek philosophers thought to have lived beyond the age of 90 (e.g.: Xenophanes of Colophon, c. 570/565 – c. 475/470 B.C.; Pyrrho of Ellis, c. 360 - c. 270 B.C.; Eratosthenes of Cirene c. 285 – c. 190 B.C., etc.). The case of Democritus differs from the case of, for example, Epimenides of Crete (VII, VI centuries B.C.) who is said to have lived an implausible 154, 157 or 290 years, depending on the source. Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ... For the Athenian tyrant, see Hipparchus (son of Pisistratus). ... Hendrick ter Brugghen, Democritus Laughing (1629) Democritus (Greek: Δημόκριτος) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace around 450 BC; died in about 370 BC). ... Xenophanes of Colophon (Greek: Ξενοφάνης, 570 BC-480 BC) was a Greek philosopher, poet, and social and religious critic. ... Pyrrho (c. ... Eratosthenes (Greek ; 276 BC - 194 BC) was a Hellenistic mathematician, geographer and astronomer. ... Epimenides of Knossos Epimenides of Knossos (Crete) (Greek: Επιμενίδης) was a semi-mythical 6th century BC Greek seer and philosopher-poet, who is said to have fallen asleep for fifty-seven years in a Cretian cave sacred to Zeus, after which he reportedly awoke with the gift of prophecy. ...


The sixth dynasty Egyptian ruler Pepi II is believed by some Egyptologists to have lived to the age of 100 or more (c. 2278 BC - c. 2184 BC), as he ruled for 94 years.[1] However this is under dispute, as others claim the date should actually be 64 years.[2] The Sixth Dynasty of Egypt is considered by many authorities as the last dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, although The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (ed. ... nomen or birth name Pepi II was a ruler of the Sixth dynasty in Egypts Old Kingdom. ...


The Indian Sufi poet, Kabir (1398-1518?) is believed by some to have lived to an unnatural age of 120 while others believe that he lived for not more than 80 years.


Ultimately, there is no reason to believe that there could not have been a few men/women in a population of 2,500 years ago who were centenarians, even if they were not commonplace. [Source for Table: Olivier Postel-Vinay, "Histoire Le Cas de la Grece Antique," La Recherche Special -- Vivre 120 Ans, Vol. 322, p. 90 (Paris; July-August 1999). Note: La Recherche is the French equivalent of Scientific American in the English-speaking world.]


Future of centenarians in the United States

The Huffington Center on Aging at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston is another source for information about Centenarians.


As reported on the front cover of USA Today (August 24, 1999), The U.S. Census Bureau has forecast that the number of Americans age 100 or older will increase by more than 22 times the 1990 estimate of 37,306. In October 2001, the US Census Bureau actually reported that there were 50,454 US Centenarians (a more reasonable 35 percent increase) out of a total population of 281.4 million Americans. But by 2050, "the number of US centenarians is expected to reach 834,000 and maybe even 1 million," said Dr. Robert Butler, President of the International Longevity Center in New York City.


From present data, the number of worldwide Centenarians is around 450,000. However, if one considers only the total number of Supercentenarians (by definition, persons surviving to ≥ 110 years) this number falls dramatically to estimated 300-450 worldwide, in which only around 70 are validated. [2] There are two persons proven to have lived 120 years; despite the fact that there are a large number of pretenders from other countries, these claimants have never been rigorously validated by means of the sort of documentation that would be sufficient to prove their claim (birth certificates, baptismal certificates, marriage certificates, and so forth). However, record keeping was never rigorous before the age of data processing. Persons born at home in rural areas were frequently lucky if they had a family Bible to record the event let alone the correct spelling of the parents' names, their ages at the time, etc. A supercentenarian (sometimes hyphenated as super-centenarian) is someone who has reached the age of 110 years or more, something achieved by only one in a thousand centenarians (0. ...


The Social Security Administration extended the life expectancy tables all the way up to 119 in 2005. [3] In the course of the last four decades the number of people reaching 100 has increased almost ten fold, so that now one in fifty women and one in two hundred men reach that age. This fact, plus the increase in birth and immigration of younger cohorts, leads to common errors in interpreting life expectancy.


We can't say there are exactly 100 English words based on the Latin root "centum," meaning "hundred," but there are certainly dozens. "Centenarian" isn't the oldest one; it only dates from the late 1700s. Far older is "centurion" (an ancient Roman military officer), which has been around since the 13th century. A younger "centum" offspring is "centisecond," a rare term for 1/100 of a second that dates from the 1950s. From colorful words such as "centicipitous" (which means "100-headed") to practical ones like "centgener" ("a device for planting 100 seeds"), "centum" descendants have enlivened our language for centuries.


See also

Here is a list of well-known centenarians (people who lived to be 100) (with living ones bolded and italicized). ... A supercentenarian (sometimes hyphenated as super-centenarian) is someone who has reached the age of 110 years or more, something achieved by only one in a thousand centenarians (0. ... The last surviving veteran of any particular war, upon his (or her) death, marks the end of a historic era. ... The following is a list of surviving veterans of the First World War (28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918). ... Longevity is defined as long life or the length of a persons life (life expectancy). ... Longevity claims are claims to extreme longevity (usually 110 or older) that either cannot be verified or for whom only some evidence is available. ... Longevity myths are claims to extreme longevity that are of dubious reliability, or even subsequently disproven. ... This is a list of sovereign states and other territories by centenarian population, estimated for the year 2005. ...

External links

References


  Results from FactBites:
 
Centenarian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1114 words)
A centenarian is a person who has attained the age of 100 years or more.
Japanese centenarians receive a silver cup and a certificate from the Prime Minister of Japan upon their 100th birthday, honouring them for their longevity and prosperity in their lives.
Centenarians born in Ireland receive a €2,500 "Centenarians' Bounty" and a letter from the President of Ireland, even if they are resident abroad.
The Okinawa Centenarian Study: health, diet & aging research (355 words)
Centenarians, in particular, have a history of aging slowly and delaying or sometimes escaping the chronic diseases of aging including dementia, cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke) and cancer.
The goal of the Okinawa Centenarian Study is to uncover the genetic and lifestyle factors responsible for this remarkable successful aging phenomenon for the betterment of the health and lives of all people.
The Okinawa Centenarian Study (OCS) is a population-based study of hundred-year-olds (centenarians) and other elderly in Okinawa, Japan.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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