Where People Live a Very Long Time

Here’s something I missed from last fall:

[P]eople on Ikaria [reach] the age of 90 at two and a half times the rate Americans do. (Ikarian men in particular are nearly four times as likely as their American counterparts to reach 90, often in better health.) But more than that, they were also living about 8 to 10 years longer before succumbing to cancers and cardiovascular disease, and they suffered less depression and about a quarter the rate of dementia. Almost half of Americans 85 and older show signs of Alzheimer’s. (The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that dementia cost Americans some $200 billion in 2012.) On Ikaria, however, people have been managing to stay sharp to the end.

New York Times.

Comments (6)

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  1. Mulligan says:

    Its also in Greece. Which is the political equivalent of a lumbering simpleton.

  2. Angel says:

    Maybe I should move to Ikaria and give it a real try.

  3. H. James Prince says:

    Nutrition is key:

    “She estimated that the Ikarian diet, compared with the standard American diet, might yield up to four additional years of life expectancy.”

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    I read this article and other accounts of places where people live very long lives. There are several factors that seem to repeat themselves over and over.

    1) People don’t lead stressful lives. They are happy once their basic needs met, and are very social.

    2) People are too poor to eat excessive amounts of processed, calorie-dense foods and are stay physically active.

    3) Often times, there is selection bias. Young people who move away are never tracked, while those who live long enough retire return and are tracked.

    4) people exaggerate, forget or outright lie about their age.

  5. Buster says:

    Ancel Keys, was the scientist who discovered the Mediterranean Diet after World War II. Yet, scientists have since come to realize the so-called Mediterranean Diet was never one diet, but a composite of many diets scattered around the Mediterranean. Nor was it the preferred diet of the people who ate it. Rather, it was the diet of poor people ate because food was scarce and they could not afford what they wanted to eat. It was a Spartan diet devoid of red meat. As societies along the Mediterranean have grown more prosperous, their diets have grown less healthy.

  6. Gabriel Odom says:

    Devon, since these people live longer partially as a result of a less stressful lifestyle, perhaps we can convince Americans to not stress about their health?

    The irony is not lost on me.