Book Chapter

Extreme longevity in a family: a report of multiple centenarians within a single generation

Alpert, L., Desjardins, B., Vaupel, J. W., Perls, T. T.

In: Jeune, B., Vaupel, J. W. (Eds.): Validation of exceptional longevity, 225-234 (1999)
Monographs on population aging 6
Odense: Odense University Press.

ISBN 87-7838-466-4 / ISSN: 0909-119X


This is a selection of studies by various authors on the problems associated with validating claims of exceptional longevity. "The history of longevity is a history of myths. This volume shows that most reported instances of exceptional longevity are incorrect. This was the rule everywhere until the end of the 19th century and is still the case in the vast majority of countries. It is only when reliable birth registrations are available for a century or more and when reports of ages above 100 are systematically checked against these data that the quality of national statistics on exceptional longevity improves. Several chapters of this volume provide further evidence that genuine centenarians before 1800 were nonexistent or at least extremely rare." (EXCERPT)