If you expect to live into your nineties because your parents did, think again. A new study from Sweden has found that lifestyle factors are much more important than heredity in determining who lives longest. The researchers from Gothenburg University found that not smoking, drinking moderate amounts of coffee and having low cholesterol and good socioeconomic status at age 50 (based on housing costs) plus being in good physical working order at age 54 are key to living to 90 or longer. The study began in 1963, enrolling one third of all 50-year-old men in Gothenburg. Since then, a new group of men has been added to the study every 10 years (women were first included in 2003). The original group of men – all born in 1913 – were examined at ages 50, 54, 60, 67, 75 and 80. Of the 855 who enrolled at the start, 13 percent were still alive at age 90. The study was published online on Dec. 22, 2010 by the Journal of Internal Medicine.
Here are some tips from Dr. Weil’s Healthy Aging book on how to live to be 100.