A Pro-Life Legacy: World’s Oldest Woman Has 74 Great-Grandchildren

International   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Sep 3, 2014   |   1:18PM   |   Washington, DC

According to the World Health Organization, the average lifespan of most people worldwide is 70 years. Males usually live to be 68.5 years and females 73.5 years. In most cases, women outlive men by five years.

In low-income countries the average age of death is 62, while people in high-income countries live to about 79. This is because many low-income countries do not have unlimited access to modern medicine or trained physicians. However, since 1990, life expectancy at birth has increased globally by 6 years.

leandraIn Mexico, the average life expectancy is 75 years. But a woman named Leandra Becerra Lumbreras has outlived this statistic by 52 years.

The Telegraph reports:

She was 27 when World War One erupted, 75 when John F. Kennedy was shot and nearly 100 when the Berlin Wall came down. Now Leandra Becerra Lumbreras is celebrating her latest milestone – becoming the oldest person who has ever lived.

According to relatives and friends, the chocolate-loving Mexican marks her 127th birthday today. But there will not be any visits from officials at the Guinness Book of Records – she lost her birth certificate while moving house 40 years ago.

Supposedly born on August 31, 1887 – the year Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee – she has attributed her long life to eating well, snacking on chocolate, sleeping for days on end and never getting married, according to her family.

Mexico’s El Horizonte newspaper reported that the former seamstress, from the western city of Zapopan, has already seen her five children and several of her grandchildren die.

She apparently has 73 great-grandchildren and 55 great-great-grandchildren.

Granddaughter Miriam Alvear, 43, said: “She is entirely lucid. She blows your mind with her stories from the revolution.

“She was always a woman who fought. She was still sewing and weaving until about two years ago. She never ceased to be active, that’s why we think she’s lived so long.”

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She added: “Her parents were singers. She loves to entertain her grandchildren with the old songs they taught her.

“She’s always had a good tooth, even at her old age. She has no diabetes or hypertension so can eat as many chocolates and sweets as she likes.”

Despite her impressive feat of ageing, Ms Lumbreras is not officially recognized as the world’s oldest human.

That title goes to Japan’s Misao Okawa, who is 12 years younger.