Longevity Tied to Mother’s History, Study Says

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“As an 85-year-old man who takes good care of himself, I am optimistic for an even longer life. Both of my parents lived to 95. Are there any studies out there about longevity and how you can keep going for as long as possible?”
Congratulations on your wonderful health habits. According to research, since both of your parents lived to an older age, the chances that you will as well are good.

A 50-year study of men born in 1913 provides interesting insight after the age of 80 as to the causes of death and the numbers of seniors with dementia. The researchers also have some ideas on what it takes to reach the age of 100. Only 10 of 855 study participants (1.2 percent) lived to become centenarians – 100 years of age.

“Survival was related to non-smoking, mothers’ high age at death, high social class and previous high physical working capacity,” according to the study conducted over the past half century from researchers at the University of Gothenburg.

According to the study, of those survey participants who died after the age of 80, these were their causes of death:

  • - 42 percent due to cardiovascular disease,
  • - 20 percent due to infectious diseases,
  • - 8 percent due to stroke,
  • - 8 percent due to cancer,
  • - 6 percent due to pneumonia, and
  • - 6 percent due to other causes.

A total of 23 percent of the over-80 group were diagnosed with some type of dementia.

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


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

Companionship is also an important part of maintaining good health. If you are living alone, consider contacting your local Home Instead Senior Care office to learn how a CAREGiverSM could assist you on your journey to a long, healthy life. Our CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured, and many are older adults themselves.

For more information about your local Home Instead Senior Care office, contact us at 419-472-8181 or go to HomeInstead.comTo learn more about the research, visihttp://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/news-calendar/News_detail//lifestyle-advice-for-would-be-centenarians.cid1285361.


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