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Monday, April 15, 2024

World’s oldest person dies one month short of her 119th Birthday

The world’s oldest person, Sister André died on January 18, 2023, at the age of 118 yearsand 340 days.

Sister André is said to have passed away while asleep at her nursing home in Toulon, France. A spokesman from the nursing home shared news of her death the next day. The sister died less than a month away from her 119th birthday and held the Guinness World Record of being the oldest living person and oldest living nun on the planet.

Sister André was born on February 11, 1904, in France, as Lucile Randon. She took the name Sister André in 1944 and spent most of her life in religious service as a Roman Catholic nun. Sister André spent almost 28 years working at a hospital with orphans and elderly people before becoming a nun. During World War II, she was a teacher and looked after children in conflict areas.

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She became the oldest living person last year after the death of Kane Tanaka of Japan, who died at the age of 119. The record for the oldest person ever is held by Jeanne Louise Calment, also a French national, who died at 122 years and 164 days in 1997. Gerontology Research suggests that the oldest living person is now Maria BranyasMorera of Spain at 115 years. She held the record for the oldest COVID-19 survivor, for which she tested positive a few weeks before her 117th birthday in 2021. She managed to recover from the virus in about three weeks. Interestingly, she is also a survivor of the deadly Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which killed millions.

Since the 1950s, the number of people over 100 has substantially increased. According to UN estimates, Norway had the best health in 1950, with a life expectancy of 72.3 years. With the growing world population and life expectancy, centenarians have increased substantially in the twenty-first century. Statistics show that in 2000 there were almost 170,000 centenarians, which is predicted to increase to over 20 million by 2100. As global life expectancy has increased, the total number of people above the age of a hundred in2022 was 633,000.

Research suggests that gains in longevity are initially due to reductions in infant mortality accompanied by better sanitation, improvements in public health, and significant advances in overcoming childhood diseases, such as smallpox, polio, and measles. Additionally, improved living standards and nutrition have proved to be critical factors for higher life expectancy in the twentieth century. Likewise, recent developments in healthcare facilities in old age, such as medical advances against heart disease, cancer, and other adult diseases, play an important role. The number of centenarians worldwide is anticipated to increase significantly over the coming decades.

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However, studies show that increases in life spans have not been consistent across gender around the world. On average, women live 5.4 years longer than men, and the gap is even wider in certain parts of the world. For example, in South America, the average life expectancy for women is seven years longer than for men. According to 2021 statistics, life expectancy on a global average of males is 68 years compared to females at 74 years.