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Reaching old age 'more about lifestyle than genes'

Reaching old age 'more about lifestyle than genes'
10th February 2011

A person's need for homecare or assisted living may not be determined by their genetic make-up, but is more likely to be the result of their lifestyle choices.

Hereditary factors do not play as major role in people's life expectancy, according to research conducted by scientists at the University of Gothenburg.

Those who do not smoke, consume moderate amounts of coffee and that have good socio-economic status at the age of 50 were among the most likely to be on the path to celebrating their 90th birthday, the findings published in the Journal of Internal Medicine revealed.

Having good physical working capacity age 54 and a low level of cholesterol at 50 were also deemed contributing factors to a long life expectancy.

Commenting on the findings, professor emeritus Lars Wilhelmsen explained: "Many of these factors have previously been identified as playing a role in cardiovascular disease, but here we are showing for the first time that they are important for survival in general."

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