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Healthy Elderly Lifestyle is the Key to Long Life!

Posted Oct 07 2008 6:23pm
Aging population is an impending phenomenon not only in United States but also in many other countries. If one wants to live longer in good health with good physical function, he or she has to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

For 25 years, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston tracked about 2,400 male doctors whose average age was 72 when they took part in the study in the early 1980s.

Published on February 11, 2008 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the study found that those, who exercised 2 to 4 times a week, did not smoke, maintained normal body weight and blood pressure, and avoided diabetes, had a 54 percent chance of living to 90. People having at least one or any combination of these factors were also beneficial, but those who did nothing had only a 4 percent chance of reaching the age of 90.

According to the researchers, people who lived to at least 90 enjoyed better physical function and mental well-being late in their lives than those who died at a younger age. In fact, genetics accounts for only about 25 to 30 percent in determining how long people can live, with other factors playing a bigger role.

In another study appearing in the same journal by Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, the researchers looked at 523 women and 216 men age 97 or older. They found that about a third of these participants lived to this advanced age despite having developed age-associated disease before age 85 such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, Parkinson's disease or stroke.

In quantifying how certain behaviors affect longevity, another British study, which tracked 20,000 people, revealed in January 2008 that those who exercised, avoided smoking, drank moderately and ate many fruit and vegetables lived 14 years longer on average than people who did none of these things.

It is rather difficult for an individual to initiate lifestyle changes. He or she may prefer to take a pill, which is much easier. Therefore, the onus is on an individual! If there were anything that one could do for a healthy lifestyle, then it would be ‘do not smoke and do exercise’!
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