‘Se­crets’ to a longer life re­vealed

Lesotho Times - - Health -

IF you want to live to 100, stop smok­ing, keep your choles­terol down, and drink no more than four cups of cof­fee a day.

Those are the three top tips from sci­en­tists who an­a­lysed data on 855 Swedish men born in 1913, in­clud­ing 10 who have cel­e­brated their 100th birth­day.

It also helps to own a house by the age of 50 — in­di­cat­ing a high stan­dard of living — dis­play a good level of mid­dle-age fit­ness and to have a mother who lived a long time.

Re­searchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Gothen­burg con­ducted sur­veys at ages 54, 60, 65, 75, 80 and 100, which al­lowed the sci­en­tists to high­light fac­tors that pro­moted longevity.

Dr Lars Wil­helm­sen, who has been in­volved in the study for the past 50 years, said that the study’s “unique de­sign has en­abled us to iden­tify the fac­tors that in­flu­ence sur­vival af­ter the age of 50.

“Our rec­om­men­da­tion for peo­ple who aspire to cen­te­nar­i­an­ism is to re­frain from smok­ing, main­tain healthy choles­terol lev­els and con­fine them­selves to four cups of cof­fee a day,” he said.

The re­search found that 27 per­cent of the study par­tic­i­pants sur­vived to the age of 80 and 13 per­cent to 90.

Of all the deaths oc­cur­ring af­ter the age of 80, 42 per­cent were at­trib­uted to heart dis­ease, 20 per cent to in­fec­tion, 8 per­cent to stroke, eight per cent to can­cer, six per­cent to pneu­mo­nia, and 16 per­cent to other causes.

“Our find­ings that there is a cor­re­la­tion with ma­ter­nal but not pa­ter­nal longevity are fully con­sis­tent with pre­vi­ous stud­ies,” Dr Wil­helm­sen added. “The ge­netic fac­tor ap­pears to be a strong one — but still we found that this ge­netic fac­tor was weaker than the other fac­tors.”

Two of the cen­te­nar­i­ans dropped out of the study due to de­men­tia and one for per­sonal rea­sons.

Of the re­main­ing seven, two lived at home and five in as­sisted fa­cil­i­ties. None smoked, and all dis­played good tem­po­ral and spa­tial cog­ni­tion which in­volves a sense of time and

AVOID­ING smok­ing was among fac­tors that pro­moted longevity ac­cord­ing to the study.

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