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Age Verification, Epidemiology Of Centenarianism, Characteristics Of Centenarians, Why Some People Live To Be One Hundred

Old age is often viewed as a time of disability and loss. Shakespeare captured it in Act II, Scene 7 of As You Like It : "Last scene of all,/ That ends this strange eventful history,/ Is second childishness and mere oblivion,/ Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything." Centenarians often prove these dismal lines wrong, and demonstrate that the compression of morbidity hypothesis (that it is possible for most of us to live a long, healthy life) may be true.

The word "centenarian" is derived from the Latin for "of a hundred," and refers to someone who has lived to be one hundred years of age or older. The term "supercentenarian" refers to people 105 years and older. The number of centenarians in developed countries has doubled every decade since the 1960s. This is related to the dramatic decline in mortality rates seen in developed countries worldwide.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1