Friday, February 15, 2013
Room 302 (Hynes Convention Center)
In comparison with other large bodied hominoids, the human life history pattern includes delayed maturation, relatively high fertility, and increased longevity, which includes high levels of adult survivorship and long life span, associated with menopause in women. However, studies indicate that longevity is not a legacy of our long term evolutionary history, but a consequence of recent human development within the last 30,000 years. In this paper, some of the trade-offs associated with increased longevity are discussed. In addition to the proliferation of chronic degenerative diseases implicit in living longer, the demographic consequences of changing age structure also have medical implications affecting, among other conditions, the evolution of infectious diseases. Many scars of human evolution are only apparent in aging populations and the evolution of longevity has had epidemiological consequences.