Leslie Stahl reported on 60 Minutes last night on Living to 90 Years Old and Beyond.
Considered the “oldest” of the old, this is the fastest growing segment of the population. UC Irvine houses the Institute for Memory Impairment and Neurological Disorders. The 90+ Study was started in 2003 and has become one largest studies on those over 90 in the world. IT is a living study, meaning that it is still ongoing.
The goal of the study was to discover was to find out what allows a person to grow to be 90 years old?
What lifestyle habits are associated with living longer?
How many developed dementia? How many were dementia free? How can people prevent or delay the cognitive decline or memory loss as they age?
The study starts out in a strange fashion. Leisure World, was a retirement community started in 1981. It has since been renamed Laguna Woods, California. In 1981, as part of the community, Leisure world mailed a survey that covered many aspects of their clients lives: including health questions.
These 14,000 completed survey’s are wealth of information to researchers. The researchers actually contacted every person surveyed to see where they are and how they are today.
There is little known about the oldest of the old. This treasure trove of information could help us understand the public health challenges we face, as well as to address quality of life in an aging community.
I think you will be surprised by the results.
Individuals who drank moderate amounts of alcohol ( 1 to 2 glasses) or moderate amounts of coffee lived longer than those who that did not.
Individuals who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did. Overweight, NOT obese.
Over 40% of individuals over the age of 90 and older suffer from a type of dementia. Almost 80% are physically disabled. Both are more common in women than men.
About half of those suffering with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss.
People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.
Individuals that exercised lived longer than those that did not. Even 15 minutes of exercise a day made a difference. Forty Five minutes of exercise a day seemed to be the best. Even those that exercised 3 hours a day, did not beat out forty five minutes a day.
Here are the 60 minute segments for you to enjoy
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