Living Beyond 90: A Study Update

Discover the latest insights on living to age 90 and beyond from the 90+ Study, the largest research effort focused on health and lifestyle issues of Americans and Canadians in their 90s.

Living Beyond 90: A Study Update
Unveiling the Secrets of Longevity: The 90+ Study Sheds Light on Living Beyond 90

In 2014, Leslie Stahl presented a report on "Living to 90 Years Old and Beyond" during a segment of 60 Minutes. Today, we bring you an exciting update on this remarkable study.

The demographic of individuals aged 90 and beyond, often considered the "oldest of the old," is growing rapidly. Among the pioneering institutions in this research field is the Institute for Memory Impairment and Neurological Disorders at UC Irvine. They initiated the 90+ Study back in 2003, which has since evolved into one of the largest ongoing investigations focused on those over the age of 90, spanning the globe.

The central question of this study is to unearth the secrets of longevity and understand what enables individuals to reach the age of 90 and beyond. Surprisingly, it has illuminated the extent of control we hold over our own lifespans and life expectancies. Genetics, we've come to learn, contribute to less than 30% of what determines how long one will live. The rest hinges upon the choices we make regarding our lifestyle and environment, putting the reins of our destiny firmly in our hands.

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    Some key factors that have surfaced as determinants of a longer life include regular exercise, moderate alcohol and caffeine consumption, staying socially engaged, and even maintaining a few extra pounds as we age. It's refreshing to know that we have the ability to influence these aspects of our lives.

    In the present day, the Live to 90 and Beyond study has shifted its focus towards memory and dementia. This makes it the most prolonged and continuous research endeavor concentrating on health and lifestyle issues among Americans and Canadians in their 90s and beyond. The study, which started at the Clinic for Aging Research & Education in Laguna Woods, California, collects clinical, pathological, and genetic information from over 1,600 participants, now referred to as the 90+ Study.

    Researchers examine various facets of participants' lives, including their dietary choices, activities, and lifestyles that correlate with longer life. Before the initiation of this study, we possessed scarce insights into individuals over 90 years old, mainly because they were often excluded from aging-related research. The 90+ Study has bridged this critical knowledge gap and is a treasure trove of valuable data for researchers worldwide.

    Now, equipped with insights into the factors contributing to living beyond the age of 90, it's time for us to take action. Numerous aspects of our lives—what we consume, how much we exercise, and our social connections—play pivotal roles in determining our health and longevity. It's essential to identify the areas in your life that need attention and embark on a journey to improve them, one step at a time.

    For example, you could choose to quit smoking this month, focus on weight loss next month, and work on controlling your blood sugar levels the following month. For health challenges like high blood pressure and diabetes, consulting with your healthcare provider is crucial. In other areas, the support of your friends and family can make a significant difference.

    As more and more people reach the age of 90 and beyond, there's a growing opportunity for you to join this resilient group. Take proactive steps to preserve your health, and you might just find yourself among those celebrating a long and fulfilling life.

    For further updates on this study, we encourage you to watch the updates on the study here, and we'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please share your insights and questions with us.

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