Hu­mans, apes sim­i­lar

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

THE pat­tern of age­ing in hu­mans is re­port­edly not too dif­fer­ent from most other pri­mates, such as chim­panzees, mon­keys and ba­boons.

A team led by Anne Bronikowski of Iowa State Univer­sity stud­ied data on pri­mate age­ing col­lected over decades around the world and com­pared it with sta­tis­tics on mod­ern Amer­i­cans.

Age­ing was de­fined as the in­creased risk of dy­ing from nat­u­ral causes while get­ting older. Some ex­perts have thought that be­cause peo­ple have rel­a­tively long life spans, hu­mans aged dif­fer­ently from other mam­mals.

The re­search team be­lieved that any ma­jor dif­fer­ence be­tween hu­mans and pri­mates was most likely to show up with mod­ern peo­ple, rather than a hunter-gath­erer cul­ture, Bronikowski said. ‘‘ And the fact that we don’t find a dif­fer­ence there is more com­pelling.’’

The ba­sic pat­tern they found is a rel­a­tively high risk of dy­ing in in­fancy, a low risk of death dur­ing the ju­ve­nile years and then an in­creased risk of dy­ing as age­ing pro­gressed.

Also, they found that in most cases males don’t live as long as fe­males.

The re­searchers said the rea­son males of other species die ear­lier than fe­males may be due to stress.

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