Home Lifestyle Researchers may have discovered the secret to reaching 'aged 90 and over'...

Researchers may have discovered the secret to reaching 'aged 90 and over' – major finding


There are many forces underpinning longer life expectancies and none should be viewed in isolation. However, specific populations have been shown to consistently reach 90 years of age and over. These populations have been the subject of much research.

Researchers aim to uncover the secrets to longevity by focusing on “blue zones” – geographical regions that are home to some of the world’s oldest people.

One of the most enlightening studies focused on Ikaria – a mountainous island located in the Eastern Aegean Sea between Mykonos and Samos.

Despite a low socioeconomic status and the presence of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, and tobacco smoking), the elderly inhabitants of this tiny island have maintained a relatively good health status.

In particular, low rates of depression, high muscle strength, and good functional abilities have been observed in the region.

READ MORE: How to live longer: The hot drink shown to ‘reduce inflammation’ and risk of cancer

Lifestyle is one important modifiable factor that can impact life expectancy.

Thus, researchers performed a study in order to describe the lifestyle, including social life, diet, and physical activity, of the inhabitants of Ikaria aged 90 and over.

Some previous work had focused on Ikaria, but they studied a much younger population and did not investigate the same aspects, in a particular social lifestyle.

A cross-sectional observational study was conducted to describe the lifestyle of people aged 90 and over, living in Evdilos or Raches, two municipalities of the Greek island of Ikaria.

Arthritis: The 4p drink to alleviate symptoms [TIPS]
Dawn French: Star on her life-changing surgery [INSIGHT]
The vitamin supplement that may raise cancer risk [ADVICE]

The 71 participants were interviewed and underwent the Mediterranean Islands study food frequency questionnaire (MEDIS-FFQ) and the international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ).

The frequency of social contacts was daily for 77.9 percent of participants, weekly for 16.1 percent, and monthly for 5.9 percent.

Most participants (90 percent) believed in God, and 81.4 percent took part in religious events.

A total of 62 percent attended Panigiria festivals (a type of fair or festival that celebrates the patron saint of the region).

A total of 62 percent attended Panigiria festivals (a type of fair or festival that celebrates the patron saint of the region).

Access to primary health care was considered difficult in the past for 66.2 percent of participants, while 22.1 percent felt that it remained difficult at the time of the survey.

The level of adherence to the Mediterranean diet was 62.7 percent. Physical activity levels were moderate or high for 71.8 percent of participants.

“In conclusion, the participants had a very high level of family solidarity, social interaction and physical activity,” the researchers concluded.

They continued: “The results concerning the Mediterranean diet are less convincing.

“It would be interesting to study the impact of these factors on the longevity of the oldest old aged people living in Ikaria.”

The Mediterranean diet varies by country and region, so it has a range of definitions.

But in general, it’s high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods.

Previous articleLabour MP says Insulate Britain escape terrorist treatment as they are white middle class
Next articleLionel Messi to Harry Kane – stars aiming to rediscover best form during the international break


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here