Live Long, Live Healthy or is it Good Genes?

by Lois Etienne on September 23, 2011

in Grandmothers,Senior Health and Safety

Two recent studies lend credence to the theories that both genetics and a healthy lifestyle are important to healthy aging. New research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms what other studies have uncovered. If you want to live longer don’t smoke, eat healthy, exercise and drink alcohol moderately.

During the study period, people who engaged in all four healthy behaviors were 63 percent less likely to die early, compared with people who did not practice any of the behaviors. But people can live longer if they practice even just one of these healthy lifestyle behaviors, according to the CDC. Not smoking provided the most protection from dying from all of the causes examined.

People who engaged in all four healthy behaviors were:

  • 66 percent less likely to die early from cancer,
  • 65 percent less likely to die early from cardiovascular disease, and
  • 57 percent less likely to die early from other causes compared with people who did not engage in any of the healthy behaviors.

On the other hand, another recent study has revealed that people who live to 95 or older are no more virtuous than the rest of us in terms of their diet, exercise routine or smoking and drinking habits, according to research by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine ofYeshivaUniversity,Bronx,N.Y.That group found that genes were an important indicator of longevity.

Overall, people with exceptional longevity did not have healthier habits than the comparison group in terms of body mass index (BMI), smoking, physical activity or diet, that research indicated.

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