Living to 100 … And Loving It!


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — About .03 percent of the US population is 100 years old or older. And it’s not all in their genes! Research shows your genetic makeup only accounts for about 20 percent of your longevity. So, what can you do to live a long, healthy life.

Want to live to 100 and live well? Experts say start preparing now!

Jose Santana, MD, MPH, Internal Medicine says, “For many of my patients, what it comes down to is ‘How can I maintain my independence, how can I maintain my quality of life?’”

Your top focus should be avoiding self-imposed health roadblocks. More than 80 percent of chronic diseases can be prevented with healthy behaviors.

Doctor Santana explains, “We can change a person’s quality of life, the ability to remain at home the ability to remain independent.”

First, stay active. People who are physically active for about seven hours a week have a 40 percent lower risk of dying early than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week. Experts say incorporate aerobic activities, strength training, and balance exercises.

“An elderly person who participates in balance activities, such as, tai chi, is less likely to have falls.” says Doctor Santana.

Also, eat a healthy diet and don’t overeat. Research on centenarians has found they traditionally eat a diet low in calories and high in veggies. They also stop eating when they’re 80 percent full. Next, stay socially engaged. One study found people with lots of social connections had a 50 percent greater likelihood of living longer than people with few or no social connections. And get enough sleep. Research shows sleeping less than seven hours a night on a regular basis is linked to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, and an increased risk of death. With ways to live to a healthy 100.

Another study that examined the personality traits of Ashkenazi Jewish people between ages 95 and 107 found most of them tended to have a positive attitude and a sense of humor, which suggests these traits play a role when it comes to longevity.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.



REPORT #3162

BACKGROUND: The average life expectancy in the United States rose by more than 30 years between 1900 and 2020 due to multiple public health measures. However, in the last few years, the average lifespan in the United States took a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid crisis. Reaching extreme old age depends on multiple factors like location, gender, lifestyle, and parental age of death. Medical advances, lifestyle changes, and rapid growth in population have all contributed to the influx of the elderly. The discovery of antibiotics like penicillin in the early 20th century helped lower mortality rates caused by bacterial infections, while the popularization of home refrigeration, pasteurization, and new food safety regulations also contributed to reduce rates of infection. Currently, the nation’s population is growing older with more people living to 100 than in decades past. In 2021, there were 89,739 centenarians living in the United States.


SECRETS TO LONGEVITY: Research suggests our genetic makeup accounts for 20 to 30 percent of our longevity, leaving 70 to 80 percent to lifestyle choices like eating a healthy diet. Foods like vegetables and lean protein give your body the nutrients it needs to maintain and repair skin, hair, eyes and to carry out major bodily functions like breathing and digesting. Exercising regularly helps maintain a healthy weight and heart, as well as helping to manage stress. Mental and cognitive decline are other symptoms to watch for so keep your mind active by taking a class to learn something new, doing crossword puzzles, watching a challenging game show, reading, and having stimulating conversations. Not smoking and getting enough sleep are also good lifestyle choices. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation or sleeping less than five hours a night can lead to major health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and cancer. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. 


BREAKTHROUGH STUDY IN LIVING LONGER: Researchers from the University of California San Diego conducted a study to reprogram the cellular aging process. The study revealed that they were able to increase the lifespan of yeast cells by 82 percent and claimed that the same could be done on a cellular level in humans. They were able to rewire the transcriptional switch into a negative-feedback loop, which caused the yeast cells to fluctuate between the two aging states, increasing their life span. “Our results establish a connection between gene network architecture and cellular longevity that could lead to rationally designed gene circuits that slow aging,” said Nan Hao, PhD, of the School of Biological Sciences’ Department of Molecular Biology, co-director of UC San Diego’s Synthetic Biology Institute. This research aligns with the growing movement of scientists who believe that aging can be treated and managed like a disease.


* For More Information, Contact:                                     Jose Santana, MD, MPH

Free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe. To sign up: