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distribution of deaths in the future. The projections effectively suggest that the practical omega for these populations will increase faster than the age to which 50 or 10 percent of births survive.

Demographers have debated and disputed the concept of omega as long as population statistics have been collected. While the notion of a fixed omega for human beings is generally not held currently, the extent to which it will increase in the future is certainly in doubt. Without artificial constraints on the maximum age for life, the assumptions of Government actuaries in these three countries result in an increasing and possible acceleration of increase in omega. Whether this is possible is questioned by Hayflick. Whether research on preventive medicine and life style, medical interventions for disease and even possible manipulation of the human genome will allow our species to achieve such life extension is debatable. But understanding the aging process, as Hayflick suggests, should help actuaries improve and better justify assumptions in the future.

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