Longitudinal analysis of blood markers reveals progressive loss of resilience and predicts human lifespan limit

Nat Commun. 2021 May 25;12(1):2765. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23014-1.


We investigated the dynamic properties of the organism state fluctuations along individual aging trajectories in a large longitudinal database of CBC measurements from a consumer diagnostics laboratory. To simplify the analysis, we used a log-linear mortality estimate from the CBC variables as a single quantitative measure of the aging process, henceforth referred to as dynamic organism state indicator (DOSI). We observed, that the age-dependent population DOSI distribution broadening could be explained by a progressive loss of physiological resilience measured by the DOSI auto-correlation time. Extrapolation of this trend suggested that DOSI recovery time and variance would simultaneously diverge at a critical point of 120 - 150 years of age corresponding to a complete loss of resilience. The observation was immediately confirmed by the independent analysis of correlation properties of intraday physical activity levels fluctuations collected by wearable devices. We conclude that the criticality resulting in the end of life is an intrinsic biological property of an organism that is independent of stress factors and signifies a fundamental or absolute limit of human lifespan.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Blood Cell Count / methods
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers