How do you live to be 100? Good genes, activity and friends.


Experts predict that the number of centenarians – people who live to at least 100 years old – will continue to rise in the coming decades. While genes play a huge role in healthy aging, physical activity, social support and where you live can also affect your chances of living a very long life.

Sister Andre, a French Catholic nun born Lucille Randon, who was the oldest person in the world, passed away recently at the age of 118. The two oldest people alive are now believed to be María Brañas Moreira, a 115-year-old Spanish woman born in the US, and Fusa Tatsumi, who lives in Osaka, Japan, who is also 115 days old but is 52 days younger than Moreira, according to the rule. data before Gerontology Research Group.

Based on a 2022 estimate According to the United Nations, there are 593,000 centenarians worldwide. it’s a A rapidly growing age group. UN projects will be there 3.7 million centenarians alive by 2050.

Did you win the genetic lottery?

Experts who study human lifespan extension say the reason someone can live to be more than 100 years old starts with their DNA — the genes they inherited from their parents.

He said, “You can’t make it this far without having already won the genetic lottery at birth.” S. Gay OlshanskyProfessor of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “So, the first rule would be genetics.”

Experts say the older your parents are, the more likely you are to live a longer, healthier life. Luigi Ferrucciscientific director at the National Institute on Aging, said that children of centenarians tend to live healthier, longer lives than their peers.

“Maybe it’s not one single gene but a profile, a combination of genes,” Ferrucci said.

Living to one hundred years complicates retirement

Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Geriatric Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, has studied the lives of hundreds of centenarians, people who have married and their children. Barzilai said that the children of centenarians are “about 10 years healthier” than their peers.

Barzilai is working with others to enroll 10,000 centenarians, their children, and a control group from the general population to identify different genes that contribute to a long life. People who have a particular mutation in their growth hormone, for example, are “very likely to live longer,” Barzilai said, because their cells spend more energy maintaining existing ones, not growing new ones.

He said the plan is to use artificial intelligence to help find genes and develop medicines from them.

“We really want to find all the longevity genes,” Barzilai said.

Olshansky said he and his colleagues are preparing to launch the platform in February Where people can upload data from a genetic testing service to determine whether they have genes “associated with exceptional longevity,” so they can plan financially for retirement.

“I am a carrier of, for example, two sets of genes associated with longevity,” Olshansky said. “For planning purposes, I may need to delay retirement.”

environment and lifestyle

Experts disagree on how much genes influence a person’s lifespan versus lifestyle. But most experts say good genes will get you very far.

says Jamie Justice, assistant professor of gerontology at Wake Forest University Some Research He suggested that genes are responsible for about 25 percent of longevity. The other 75 percent has to do with your environment – where you liveAnd what you eat, how often you exercise and your support system through friends or family.

For those of us without a promising gene pool, Justice said, the goal is not to push the boundaries of human life expectancy. Instead, the researchers want to know how people can live full, healthy lives with the time they have.

“The goal is not necessarily to live to 118. What are the individual things that we do so that we can really benefit from our health and live healthiest over the given years?”

Al-Adl said a good public health system “cannot be substandard”. She said if you had a better healthcare system, you would have a higher life expectancy.

The record of the oldest person in the world has stood for decades. Then came the Russian conspiracy theory.

And the location is also important

The United States and Japan have the oldest centenarians who are 110 years of age or older; And according to Robert Young, research director of super-seniles at the Japan Gerontology Research Group, Japan has the largest per capita population.

But, there are probably many more centenarians and centenarians that we know nothing about. More than 110 years ago, Young said, some countries were better at creating and keeping birth certificates or hospital records. A country’s century-old record-keeping is often the factor that determines where confirmed super-centenarians are reported around the world, He said.

“People should remember that when we look at human longevity today, we are actually looking more at the state of the world over 110 years ago,” Young said.

Beyond record-keeping, where someone lives — a war zone, a place with access to good health care, a country with a lot of pollution, a developed country where people sit a lot — probably plays an important role in longevity.

Researchers have recently discovered that “life stressors directly affect some of the biological mechanisms of aging,” Ferrucci said, adding that our exposure to various types of pollution can also harm our overall health. He described the topic as “expanding the field of research” that could revolutionize how we approach public health.

“We are discovering that the secret to good health lies not only in our behaviour, but also in what our society is doing to improve the health of our population,” said Ferrucci.

And from the Study of Centenarians, Ferrucci said, researchers found that healthy older adults tend to stay physically active, spend time outside and They have strong bonds with their friends and family.

Just taking a walk outside” makes a huge differenceFerrucci said.

“If I had a gem to give to people who want to live a long and healthy life, I would tell them to get up early in the morning and go out,” said Ferrucci. “This is really the best gift you can give yourself if you want to achieve longevity.”

However, Ferrucci said that centenarians, especially centenarians, are often “unique”. Some people have this “biological flexibility” to live a long life despite everything against them.

“There’s the mortality curve that characterizes the general population and then there are those individuals who are unique individuals,” Ferrucci said. “We do not know how. This is the great secret.”

Experts say the usual advice of regular exercise is Eat healthy It generally applies to all elderly adults, but for a few centenarians, there are exceptions to the rule. Once she visited the long-lived Barzilai, and when she opened the door, she was smoking a cigarette.

“I said, ‘Helen, didn’t anyone tell you to stop smoking? Barzilai said. And she said, “You know, the four doctors who told me to stop smoking? They’re all dead.”

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