Longevity Escape Velocity

September 30, 2022

Current health-related technology is incredible – it has the ability to treat and cure diseases today that people would have died from years ago. And the list of diseases we can now treat with technology is growing every year. Human lifespans continue to increase, but what is the limit? If we can reach longevity escape velocity, there won’t be one.

What is Longevity Escape Velocity?

Longevity Escape Velocity (LEV), also called age escape velocity and actuarial escape velocity, is the situation in which technology can extend a person’s life by more than a year for every year they are alive. In other words, every year that you are alive, your lifespan increases by more than one year. Think about your lifespan like a tank of gas in a car. As you live, you’re using up gas, until it eventually runs out. Now imagine someone is continually refilling the tank with gas so that it never runs out. This is longevity escape velocity. We haven’t reached it yet, but some scientists think we may be very close.  

History

The idea of LEV has been around since the 1970s. It has become more popular in recent years as technology has expanded and improved. Scientists have identified seven processes that happen to your cells that contribute to aging. Current research focuses on addressing these processes individually so that we can use technology to prevent or delay aging and treat or cure age-related diseases. Some of the most common age-related diseases are those we are not yet able to cure, and these contribute to poor health in older age and can be fatal. Such diseases include cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and some hearing and eye problems. The goal is that one day, technology will be able to prevent people from developing these diseases, or cure them if they do develop, so that we can live longer and healthier lives.

Quantity and Quality of Life

Longevity escape velocity is not just about increasing the number of years you live, but also the quality of those years as well. By treating age-related diseases, the hope is that you will continue to be healthy and strong into old age and not suffer from the diseases mentioned above.

Current Research

We are making progress towards reaching LEV and some scientists believe the first person to have an indefinite lifespan may already be alive. In recent years, breakthroughs in research and technology have shown promise for making serious age-related illnesses a thing of the past. For example, lab-grown organs may make long organ transplant waiting lists disappear. Advances in stem cell research have the potential to eventually treat dozens of different diseases. New research on cancer is allowing doctors to find it earlier and treat it more efficiently. Gene technology allows scientists to identify (and may allow them to remove) markers for genetic diseases.

Kyla and LEV

Kyla’s goal is to help you live a long, healthy life. The quality of years matters just as much as the quantity. So since we haven’t reached LEV yet, it’s up to you to make sure you are aging in a healthy way and developing habits that will keep your risk for age-related diseases low. This is where Kyla can help.

Download the Kyla app to connect with a doctor and learn more about longevity and healthy aging.