A recent study finds that a long life doesn’t necessarily mean living more years with disability and disease. In fact, unlike their counterparts who are decades younger, centenarians have a much shorter period of illness at the end of their lifespan.
Researchers examined the health status of 3,000 participants from ongoing longevity studies: the Longevity Genes Project (LGP) and the New England Centenarian Study (NECS). The average age was 97.8 and 101.4 respectively. The team looked at the ages of the participants when they developed health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and more. The study shows that onset of illness was consistently delayed among people age 100+ (the centenarians), compared to younger retirees.
The study authors hope to access these groups further to discover the factors that delay or prevent a broad range of diseases otherwise associated with death and disability.
Source: Ismail K, Nussbaum L, Sebastiani P, et al. Compression of morbidity is observed across cohorts with exceptional longevity. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Version of Record online: 5 JUL 2016; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14222