Parent Longevity Matters Less

How long your parents lived does not affect how long you will live. 

According to researchers, what matters it is how you live your life.  That determines how old you will get. 

According to research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, shows that hereditary factors don’t play a major role and that lifestyle has the biggest impact.”

The study group consisted of men born in 1913 that have participated in health and longevity studies in Gothenburg for many years. 

Those in the 1913 Men Study who did not smoke, consumed moderate amounts of coffee and had a good socio-economic status at the age of 50 (measured in terms of housing costs), as well as good physical working capacity at the age of 54 and low cholesterol at 50 had the greatest chance of celebrating their 90th birthday. 

Many of these factors have previously been identified as playing a role in cardiovascular disease, but the study shows for the first time that they are important for survival in general. 

This has enabled researchers to follow the development of illnesses in a specific age group, and to compare the health of 50-year-olds in 2003 with that of 50-year-olds in 1963, for example. 

Women have also been included in the study since 2003. Several variables have been studied over the years, including BMI, smoking habits, cholesterol, exercise habits and blood pressure. 

The men born in 1913 were examined when they were 50, 54, 60, 67, 75 and 80. Of the 855 men who took part in the study from the start, 111 (13%) were still alive at the age of 90.

Over the years the material has generated many research articles and doctoral theses. An interesting result came in 2008 when researchers were able to show that the drop in the number of smokers, combined with lower cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, between 1963 and 2003 could offer an explanation for the marked downturn in the number of heart attacks during this 40-year period. 

Posted by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.  Read the Association’s guide to reducing the cost of long-term care insurance.  Click here:

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