Experimental Life Prolongation

  • Vladimir Veniaminovich Frolkis


The mean life span of the Romans was 22 years. By the end of the last century, i. e. in approximately two thousand years, the human life span increased by 20–30 years. In the last 70–80 years, it grew by another 20–30 years in the developed countries. In other words, the rate of human life prolongation increased almost 30-fold in one century. In the Soviet Union, the mean life span almost doubled in comparison with the level which existed before the Great October Revolution. Such a sharp growth of the life span became the basis of many optimistic predictions, which were often made by quite competent scientific organizations. At the end of the 1960’s, for instance, the U.S. scientific corporation Rand predicted that the life span will increase by another 50 years by the year 2020, while Smith Kline & French Laboratories predicted such a growth by the 1990’s. Experts of both corporations were of the same opinion that the main mechanisms of aging will be revealed and control over them will be established with the subsequent sharp growth of the life span by the middle of the next century (Bender et al, 1970). However, the presently high growth of the life span is obviously connected not with a change in the aging rate and not with the shifts in the life span of a species, but with both a sharp decrease in infant mortality and the elimination of some infectious diseases. In recent years, the life span growth rate dropped sharply in the highly developed countries. According to demographers, this rate will drop even more in the future. The human life span will grow only by 8–10 years even when malignant tumours and cardiovascular diseases can be treated successfully.


Life Span Aging Rate Restorative Process Maximum Life Span Biological Subject 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladimir Veniaminovich Frolkis
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Gerontology of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSRKievUSSR

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