Seventy-two is the new 30, according to a new study. Researchers have found humans are living longer compared to our ancestors.
Studies demonstrated that the probability of humans dying at 72 is the same our ancestors faced at the age of 30.
The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals life expectancy is increasing in most countries.
Lead study author Oskar Burger, an evolutionary anthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany, and colleagues analyzed previous data on mortality from Sweden, France and Japan. While genetics may play a minor role in life expectancy, it was discovered that a longer life is attributed to innovative medical technologies, as well as higher education, improved nutrition and an overall improvement in the standards of living.
According to Burger, humans have lived for nearly 8,000 years, but only in the last four have life expectancy increased.
Researchers write, "Human mortality has decreased substantially that the difference between hunter-gathers and today's lowest mortality population is greater than the difference between hunter-gatherers and wild chimpanzees."
During hunter-gather societies, by the age 15, individuals had more than a 100 times higher chance of dying compared to people living in present-day.
The study demonstrates that the progress that has been made in the last century far outweighs the progress made during the evolutionary history between chimpanzees and human beings.
Moving towards the future, researchers wonder what's next.
"These mortality curves (that show the probablity of dying by a certain age), they are now currently at their lowest possible value," said Caleb Finch, a neurogerontology professor at the University of Southern California who studies the biological mechanisms of aging and who was not involved in the study, to LiveScience.
However, with many health conditions plaguing humans, life expectancy can take a downfall. Health conditions such as obesity, and external factors such as climate change and ozone pollution can revert modern-day improvements.