(CBS) Can healthy living really help you live longer? An eye-opening new study from Holland says it can - and the effect can be very dramatic.Researchers at Maastricht University tracked 120,000 men and women between the ages of 55 and 69. Each person was given a score in 1986 based upon his/her adherence to four key factors that have been shown to affect mortality: smoking, physical activity, body weight, and dietary habits. What happened? Men who avoided smoking, exercised at least 30 minutes a day, avoided obesity, and stuck to the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet lived about 8.5 years longer, on average, than men who didn't do any of those things, according to a written statement released by the university. Healthy living had an even bigger effect on women's lifespans. On average, those who met all four criteria lived 15 years longer than women who met none. Fifteen years? Eight-and-a-half years? Those are huge numbers, especially given that life expectancy in the U.S. - where … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Healthy living gives huge boost to lifespan: How many years?
Longevity research news
Guns, drugs and cars contribute substantially to the life-expectancy gap between the United States and other developed nations, a study found. Deaths from old-age ailments sometimes get more attention in longevity research, but deaths from these three causes tend to happen at younger ages, contributing to many decades of life lost, the researchers said. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show injuries including violence, car crashes and drug poisonings and overdoses are the leading cause of deaths for Americans up to the age of 44. U.S. death rates from these three injury categories exceed those in 12 other developed countries included in the study: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the researchers said. Among men, life expectancy in 2012 in those countries was 78.6 years versus 76.4 in the United States. Injury-related deaths accounted for almost half of that difference, the … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Three things that keep Americans from living longer
It's a pursuit that seems more like the plot of a science fiction movie than an actual goal of serious researchers around the world. But a number of scientists are fiercely working toward what was once only attainable in fables and fairy tales: they want to end aging. The quest has even inspired a competition with a monetary prize from that hub of innovation, Silicon Valley. The Palo Alto Longevity Prize, founded by Dr. Joon Yun, a radiologist who heads Palo Alto Investors, is offering $1 million in prize money as a way to urge researchers figure out how to "hack the code" of aging. While those in the growing field of longevity research admit the task at hand is expansive and complex, they say big advancements have already been made and expect to see more in the near future. "The goal is similar to all medical research which is to make people healthier and keep people alive longer so we can have more productive lives and not be such a burden to society," David Sinclair, Ph.D., a … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo The scientific quest to cure aging
Testing the length of the ends of your DNA strands may not be the best predictor of how long you will live, a new study suggests. Instead, simpler measures that include your age and your ability to climb stairs or walk a short distance may more accurately pinpoint longevity, researchers report. The study team analyzed death rates over five years among older people in the United States (60 and older), Costa Rica (61 and older) and Taiwan (53 and older). The aim was to find out how a broad set of basic measures -- such as age, mobility and smoking habits -- compared with gauging the length of telomeres in predicting death over a five-year period. Telomeres are the ends of DNA that shrink with age, the researchers said. Since the discovery that telomeres act as a "molecular clock" in people, there has been great interest in finding out if telomere length can be used to accurately predict when someone will die, the scientists explained. But this new study found that using telomere length … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Predicting longevity is no mystery
The insides of these humble critters may help researchers understand the human digestive system. Each of us has something like 500 million intestinal nerve cells, yet little is known about what they're up to. According to a recent Wellcome Trust press release, fruit fly feces have helped researchers at the University of Cambridge understand how the gut's nerve cells affect metabolism. "We reasoned that what comes out of the gut may be able to tell us about what is going on inside," says Irene Miguel-Aliaga, who headed the study. "So, we devised a method to extract information about several metabolic features from the flies' fecal deposits-which are actually rather pretty and don't smell bad. Then we turned specific neurons on and off and examined what came out." Gallery: Picking Out Human Clues From a Fruit Fly's Gut Examining fruit fly poo allowed the scientists to assign different functions to different intestinal neurons. Some regulate appetite, for example, while others adjust … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Will Fruit Fly Intestines Tell a Human Tale?