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October 3, 2008

'79 men and women alive today aged 110 years old or more'

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You could look it up.

Or just take my word for it.

I found the headlined FunFact in a September 19, 2008 Wall Street Journal "Science Journal" column by Robert Lee Hotz who wrote, "All told, there are only 79 men and women alive today aged 110 years old or more, according to the Los Angeles Gerontological Research Group."

Huh.

Better count quick 'cause that number can change in a heartbeat.

As it were.

FunFact #2 is the second sentence (my italics) of Hotz's final paragraph: "Yet, there is little evidence of an abstemious lifestyle among the 450 people between the ages of 95 and 110 enrolled in the Longevity Genes Project at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. There are no vegetarians. At least a third of them were obese in middle-age. A third have been smoking tobacco for 40 years or more, despite health warnings. 'I have a woman who recently celebrated 91 years of cigarette smoking,' says Dr. Barzilai. 'She is 106 now.'"

I guess Michael "Eat your peas" Dukakis was wrong.

Here is a link to a website with the latest updated tables on supercentenarians ("validated human centenarian[s] who [have] attained the age of 110 years or more) around the world.

"Certain of these tables were last updated on Wednesday, September 17, 2008."

Like I said above: don't dally.

October 3, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

For every person who makes it to 110, of course, there are millions if not billions who ate badly or smoked a lot and died relatively young as a result. If you feel like rolling the dice to see if you've got that magic Keith Richards Gene, bear in mind that you're going to need to get at least ten sixes in a row to avoid expiring early.

(Note also the complete absence from the validated stats of the those mysterious towns and islands where everyone's supposed to live incredibly long, on account of eating algae or nothing but raw fish, or subsisting on sunlight, or whatever. When these places aren't just completely invented by patent-medicine pushers, the strange "longevity" of their inhabitants tends to turn out to come from a lot of people simply overstating their age by, for instance, assuming the identity of their parents when they die. Apart from screwing money out of gullible tourists, the benefits of doing this include avoiding death duties and military service.)

Posted by: Daniel Rutter | Oct 8, 2008 2:24:30 AM

How could I forget this --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Borgnine#Personal_life

The last sentence under "personal life."
Maybe Ernest Borgnine holds, as it were, the secret of longevity.

Posted by: Flautist | Oct 3, 2008 3:17:13 PM

I love to hear a story about an active, sharp-as-a-tack 90+ year-old who's been having a box of donuts, half a fifth of vodka and three packs every day of her life since she was twelve. I had a large (i.e. fat) cat that ate a big can of solid white, water-packed albacore tuna every day -- in addition to his regular dry and wet chow that he ate in large quantities, plus all kinds of outdoor crap (the usual birds, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, vegetable matter & occasional inedible samplings), and except for his daily 15 minute neighborhood patrol, didn't believe much in exercise, either. He made it to 26 and died peacefully in his non-senile sleep.

Sometimes it's just hard to stay away from that sense of holiness that you get from a life of self-denial.

Posted by: Flautist | Oct 3, 2008 3:01:54 PM

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