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Life Expectancy - Living Longer!

Updated on January 25, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession. I enjoy writing, reading historical novels, gardening, and helping people live a healthier life.

Will I Make 100 Years?

What do you think your life expectancy will be? The average life expectancy in the U. S is 78.1 years. Do you want to live to be 100 years of age? Some people, approximately 10,000 worldwide are “slow agers.”

Of course, you will not know if you are going to live to be 100 until those birthday candles are lit. Personally, I don’t particularly have a desire to live to be 100, but I would like to live to a nice oldage without disabilities. Good health is my personal goal.

Elderly Couple Out For a Stroll

Source

Family History Best Predictor

A study done in 2002, called the New England Centenarian Study, found that if you have a parent, sibling or grandparent who has achieved an age of 90+, you have a 17% greater chance of reaching 100. Other studies have also found that the genetic link is a good predictor of longevity.

Numerous colleges and medical research facilities are doing research into aging and how a persons family history impacts their life expected. Furthermore, a great deal of research is being done on telomeres, which is a portion at the end of the DNA on a long strand of a chromosome. You might thing of it like a shoestring tip that keeps the shoestring from unraveling.

DNA Strands with White Telomeres on the Ends

Human chromosomes capped by telomeres (white)
Human chromosomes capped by telomeres (white) | Source

What is a Telomere?

Researchers can determine a cell’s age and how many more times it will replicate by determining the length of the telomere. Typically cells divide 50 times over a lifetime, and when they stop dividing the cell enters into a decline know as “cell senescense.”

Telomeres don’t copy DNA information in the same way other DNA cells do when they divide. Telomeres also get shorter every time a cell divides; therefore, they get shorter as we age.

As Time Passes

Source

Can You Increase Your Chance to Reach 100?

Studies vary but the University of Pittsburgh study found that faster walkers live longer. They tested 35,000 subjects that were 65 or older.

They concluded that a gait speed increase of 0.1 meters per second resulted in a 12% decrease in the risk of death. This held true for both sexes, with the most significant gains reached after the age of 75. Typically by age 80 gait speed has slowed 10-20%.

How to be Happy in Life

One thing that can impact your age negatively are social isolation. It is important to have friends and social engagements improve health. The Longevity Project found that religious women live longer with a study of 1500.

The conclusion was the social side of the church was the reason for longer lives, as the women engaged in church activities like clothing drives or volunteering in soup kitchens. Also, in this study they found that people who had civic engagements, were active in their communities, and volunteer also lived longer.

Gender Differences

There is a gender difference as in 2010, there were 80,000 centenarians in the United States and 85% were women.Scientist do not entirely know why this is true, however, the gap is slowly narrowing.

There is a bit of good news for men because if they do reach the century mark on average they are typically healthier. While women survive medical catastrophes more of them are disabled.

Change of Life Babies Helpful!

Another interesting aspect of the New England Centenarian Study is that women who have babies in their late 30’s and 40’s have extended life spans.

Scientist believe that it isn’t having the baby that adds years to their lives, but the fact that they can still naturally conceive a child at that age, as this is an indicator that their reproductive system is aging slowly.

Further Considerations

Interestingly enough a moderate amount of anxiety and worry is associated with a 50% decreased risk of death in any year. The thought is moderate worriers tend to live a more cautious lifestyle, not taking up dangerous sports and they plan for alternatives.

This year Albert Einstein College of Medicine studied the lifestyles of 477 adults, ages ranging from 95-112 and found that this group had no better health habits than a comparison group they had done, with one exception. The people in this group were much less obese.

Dr. Oz on Living Longer

How Long Will I Live?

There is a Life Expectancy Calculator on line where you can answer several questions, and they will give you a projected life expectancy. If you want to take the test, this is the website: http://www.livingto100.com/

I can only conclude that your family history is the primary factor in longevity, however, the other factors should extend you life and the quality of your life will be better. Remember quality may be more important than quantity.

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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