Thursday 29 September 2016

Secrets to living longer revealed

Published 06/10/2015 | 02:30

Life expectancy in Ireland is on the increase
Life expectancy in Ireland is on the increase

Life expectancy in Ireland has increased by almost three years since 2003.

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A man of 65 today can expect to live another 18 years and a woman 21 years.

But what are the secrets of longevity? Dr Claudia Kawas, MD, and her colleagues at University of California, Irvine, have studied the oldest of the old for more than a decade and have some answers.

People who develop high blood pressure in their 80s and 90s and have it treated may have some protection against dementia.

It's not good to be overweight when you're young, but with every advancing decade through your 70s, 80s, and 90s, it stops being a risk factor and actually becomes a protective factor for longevity. Definitely being frail and being underweight is an increased risk.

People who exercise live longer, even if its for 15 minutes of walking a day. Three hours of walking was not better than 45 minutes.

Every additional hour per day people reported doing something other than watching TV in their 70s increased their likelihood of living longer - this could include going to a religious event, meeting friends or doing a crossword.

A good diet matters but no specific vitamins or food made a difference.

They drink two to three cups of coffee a day.

A high percentage were ex-smokers.

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