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High-age features are influenced by previous lifestyles

What factors increase the chance of aging with well-maintained functions? Older men who never smoked, avoided obesity and eaten a healthy Mediterranean-inspired diet have good chances of preserving their independence in ages.

It shows a study conducted at the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences at Uppsala University and recently published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.

Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM) began in 1970 when all men in Uppsala County, born 1920 to 1924, were invited to participate and 2 322 men (82%) thanked yes. The participants have so far been followed up on six occasions. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between aging with preserved independence and lifestyle factors, including dietary patterns and cardiovascular risk factors earlier in life.

At the age of over seventy, 1 104 of the men answered a questionnaire about lifestyle including education, living conditions and physical activity. Compassion to a Mediterranean-like diet was assessed with a modified Mediterranean Diet Score based on a seven-day dietary registration, and blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors were recorded.

Sixteen years later, 369 participants, with an average age of 87 years, could be evaluated for aging with preserved independence. This was defined as a good cognitive ability in terms of testing and lack of dementia diagnosis, own accommodation, and being independent in personal everyday activities such as being able to walk outdoors on their own.

“Previous studies have shown that the oldest values ??a preserved function beyond the absence of disease,” says Kristin Franzon, doctor and doctoral student at the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences.

At the age of 85, 57 percent of the men lived and 75 percent of the 369 participants surveyed at the age of 87 were deemed to have been aged with preserved independence. Men who never smoked had twice as much chance of achieving this independence compared to smokers. Aging with preserved independence was also associated with normal weight or moderate obesity (BMI <30 kg / m2) and a waist circumference ?102 cm, as well as high compliance to a Mediterranean-like diet. The same has been observed in terms of survival.

Smoking, obesity and an unhealthy diet are risk factors for many people who may affect health, such as COPD, osteoarthritis, brain and cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“As far as we know, this is the only study so far done to men, which shows a connection between high compliance to a Mediterranean-like diet and independent aging,” says Kristin Franzon. The Mediterranean-like diet consists of highly polyunsaturated fats, fish, fruits, vegetables, cereals and potatoes and less meat and dairy products.

Source:Uppsala University

Read article in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society via this link.

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