Scientists are as curious to find out more about the secrets of longevity as anyone. New research conducted by scientists of Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University, revealed that the secret to being a centenarian depends a lot on the environmental conditions. Based on this study, scientists suggest that although hereditary factors have an irrefutable effect on longevity, the living environment contributes significantly to determining life expectancy of an individual.
What Secrets Of Centenarians Did The Study Unveil?
Mortality rates of Washington State from 2011 to 2015 were utilized for conducting this research and it included information of around 145,000 individuals living up to the age of 75 years or more. This study, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, revealed that individuals residing in more walkable areas get naturally involved in the habit of walking more and are consequently prone to living longer than others.
The study also suggests that a lively and interactive social community is crucial for increasing the possibility for people to become centenarians. People who live in mixed-age social communities tend to interact with each other more and such communities create a lively social environment with youngsters and children living around senior citizens.
Socioeconomic Status and Longevity
Another interesting finding of the study is the fact that higher socioeconomic status also contributes to longevity. According to study results, a higher percentage of people living in urban areas and enjoying a higher socioeconomic status reached the age of 100 years. So Seattle and Pullman were found to have more centenarians than other areas for this reason.
Based on the findings of this study and an analysis of earlier research on hereditary factors of longevity, researchers concluded that environmental factors, community, and socioeconomic status play a vital role in determining whether an individual would be a centenarian or not. Major variables of the study included walkable environment, age groups in the community, socioeconomic status, pollution, and greenery in the environment. The eye-opening study findings made it clear that if an individual lives in a healthy and happy environment he/she is likely to live up to or more than 100 years regardless of his/her genetic predispositions.
The researchers further created an interactive map based on the study findings, highlighting areas of Washington State with a higher percentage of people reaching the age of 75 years or above. Based on the findings of this study by the medical students of WSU, life expectancy can be increased making it possible for more and more individuals to be centenarians. By creating a healthy and supportive environment around us, we can all expect to live much longer. Economic stability, better health care facilities, and a pollution-free environment are vital for a long healthy life. Similarly, factors like social support and healthy lifestyle also play a vital role in increasing life expectancy.