The phenomenon of living 100 years and longer has been recognized for most of human history as an unusual and rare event. For the most part, these “centenarians” have been considered biological curiosities, worthy of passing media commentary and occasionally exploitation for political purposes.1 In the United States, each new centenarian still receives a signed letter from the Office of the President on their 100th birthday. The term centenarian has become a metaphor for a poorly understood and sometimes frightening phenomenon of a very long human life. Perhaps one of the most profound and significant demographic shifts of this new century is and will continue to be the bulge in the population of older adults. The fastest growing cohort of older Americans are now those 85 years and older. The United States currently has over 55 000 centenarians, one of every 10 000 persons presently alive. Imagine the White House paperwork when, as conservatively predicted, the number of centenarians reaches 800 000 by the year 2050!2
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.