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Lifestyle Makes a Difference Even at 75yo

Posted Sep 05 2012 3:00am
A fascinating study was published in the BMJ last week .  The authors enrolled 1,810 adults who were at least 75yo at the time of study entry and followed them for up to 18yrs.  Not surprisingly, over 90% were dead by the end of the almost 2 decade long study but it should be noted that on average they were just shy of 90yo.  And of that 10% or so still living, the average age was 96yo!

So what makes a difference even in old age?  Continued smoking cut a year off life expectancy compared to non-smokers.  Regular physical activity was associated w/2yrs longer life compared to the physically inert.  The combination of healthy lifestyle, physical activity (or some other leisure activity), and a moderate-to-rich social network was associated w/more than 5yrs longer life compared to their polar opposites.  Even in the old-old, those >85yo, that winning combination was worth an extra 4yrs compared to their polar opposites.

Bottom line: it's never too late to improve your life(style) for the better.  You'll continue to reap benefits upwards of 2 decades latter.

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