Health advances add to those reaching century
THE odds of hitting 100 years of age are greater than ever before.
Luck and genetics play a big role, but advances in health, education and disease prevention and treatments have also contributed to increased longevity.
Life expectancy in Australia has improved dramatically for both sexes, with those born in 2011 expected to live 33 years longer than those born 100 years ago.
Over the past 20 years, the number of centenarians has increased by 263 per cent.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows in the 12 months to June 30, 2014, the number of people aged 100 and over increased by 490 to more than 4000.
Women are still living longer, with 3200 of those women.
While people are living longer, other challenges include obesity, which has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia.
Those wanting to live longer and healthier can chose lifestyle and dietary changes which can be as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting out soft drink. There’s also making the choice to walk rather than driving the car to work where possible.
Eating meat sparingly and cutting back on sugar and alcohol, along with regular health checks and flossing your teeth are also lifesavers.