Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

As Bad as the Rest of Us

I laughed out loud while listening to my NPR station, WUWF in Pensacola. The interview was on Talk of the Nation, Science Friday, and if you click on the blue type, it will take you to the 12 minute interview. I laughed because he starts out telling us that we’re all pretty much the same, and that people who live longer have some tiny genetic differences.

I think of how hard we work to live long and prosper, how we try to control our fat foods, our salt, how we try to exercise more and to live faith-filled lives, all of which have been shown to correlate with longer lives. Only 7% of the long-lived people studied claimed a spiritual foundation. One 95 year old woman continued to be a heavy smoker. A good portion of the long-lived women did not have children. Men who survived to a ripe old age, they tell us, tend to be in much better shape than the women.

My grandmother lived to 105, and I have always wondered if I would be one of those who also lived long. Author Nir Barzilai discusses his study of people who live long lives and tells us that counter to popular wisdom, most of them had the same bad habits the rest of us had – many smoked, right up into their old age, drank, and ate sugary and fatty foods.

“We humans age at different rates,” the author states, and those who live long have good genetics – particularly a high HDL, the good cholesterol.

Now they are studying the particulars of the genes to further unlock the secrets to longevity.

AdventureMan and I love these Toyota commercials about older people and social networking 🙂

August 6, 2011 Posted by | Aging, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Statistics | , , , , | 4 Comments