Longevity Has No Link to a Distinct Lifestyle

People with exceptional longevity share similar lifestyle choices with the general population

THURSDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with exceptional longevity are not distinct from the general population in terms of lifestyle factors, including body mass index, smoking, physical activity, or low-calorie diet, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Swapnil N. Rajpathak, M.B.B.S., Dr.P.H., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues evaluated the probable lifestyle factors, including physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary habits, of individuals with exceptional longevity. Data on lifestyle factors and anthropometry were collected through questionnaire, and compared between 477 Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with an average age of 97.3 years (74.6 percent women) and 3,164 participants with an average age of 69 years (52.7 percent women) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), who represented the same birth cohort.

The investigators found that there were no statistically significant differences for individuals with exceptional longevity compared to individuals from the NHANES cohort for body mass index (men, 25.4 versus 25.6 kg/m²; women, 25.0 versus 24.9 kg/m²), proportion of daily alcohol consumption (men, 23.9 versus 22.4; women, 12.1 versus 11.3), proportion of regular physical activity (men, 43.1 versus 57.2; women, 47.0 versus 44.1), and proportion of low-calorie diet (men, 20.8 versus 21.1; women, 27.3 versus 27.1).

"People with exceptional longevity are not distinct in terms of lifestyle factors from the general population, suggesting that people with exceptional longevity may interact with environmental factors differently than others," the authors write.

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