Links: How to Live to 100
"And people could be living not only longer, but better, according to doctors writing in the Lancet medical journal, who say that most evidence shows the under-85s are tending to remain more capable and mobile than before. They have more chronic illnesses, such as cancers and heart conditions, but people survive them because they are diagnosed earlier and get better treatment."
HR Commentary: Still, you would agree it's better not to get cancer or heart disease in the first place. Scientists believe genetics only contributes 20-30% to lifespan; lifestyle accounts for 70-80% (see next article). Everyone would benefit by going vegan and organic, but young people have the most to gain, as they stand to preserve many more decades of life and health.
"...a growing body of research is suggesting that longevity isn't just linked to good genes and a healthy lifestyle; it's also tied to cultivating a positive, resilient attitude toward life."
"At the fore of this research is the New England Centenarian Study (NECS), which has enrolled more than 1,500 centenarians from around the world over the past 15 years. The study's director, Thomas Perls, says..."the older you get, the healthier you've been." In other words, people who demonstrate exceptional longevity tend to have had a lifelong history of good health....nearly two thirds of centenarians either delay the onset of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes - or escape them altogether."
"Scientists' best estimate, largely based on a landmark Swedish study of identical and fraternal twins, is that genetic factors account for only 20 to 30 percent of a person's lifespan. Environmental and behavioral factors dictate the other 70 to 80 percent." [Emphasis mine - HR]
The article says centenarians tend to share these qualities:
- Competence - the ability to achieve goals
- "Conscientiousness," or self-discipline
- Inclination to embrace new skills and experiences
- Extraversion and trust
- Resilience in the face of setbacks and difficulties
- "Cognitive coping," or the ability to creatively devise mental strategies to tackle difficult situations. "Some write poetry about the loneliness of old age or the misery of illness; others replace lost physical pursuits with mental ones, like reading, or take comfort in deep religious beliefs."