Living Longer?

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As Jack Szostak spoke to our class yesterday, I started thinking....are there ways in which we could really significantly longer our lifespans? 
As I started to research this question, I found that women, in general, live longer than men. Things that could allow men to live longer include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, good blood pressure control, regular exercise, and no diabetes. The following study was performed on a group of men: 
"In 1981, researchers began enrolling men into a study on aging. They enrolled total of 2,300 healthy man with an average age of over 70. The men were given yearly surveys about their lifestyle and health. By the end of the study, 970 men (42%) made it to the 90s. Those 42% had different habits and behaviors that helped them live longer. The study found five factors linked to surviving past 90: Non-smokers were twice as likely to see 90 as smokers. Diabetics had an 86% increase in a chance of death before 90. Obese people had a 44% increase in the chance of death before age 90. High blood pressure increased the death threats before 90 by 28%. Men who exercise reduced their death risk before 90 by 20 to 30% (depending on how much and how often they exercise). These percentages are after the researchers accounted for the health of the participants at the start of the study, education level and other factors known to impact life expectancy."
So, in answer to the question: is is possible to significantly longer our lifespans? Why, yes, it is.

1 Comment

Ok so there are things people can do to live longer. Now what impact would this have on our society??? 1) People would have to work for a lot longer before they could retire. Social Security is already a problem. 2) What would the added stress on their family be?? Older people require assistance and in most cases it is up to their kids to take care of them. If your parents had to care for aging parents longer how much would this affect their job, social life, and time spent with their husband and children? 3) medical costs? Older people require more medical care and if they outlive thier retirement money how will they afford medical treatments?? 4) What if people do not want to live that long??

These are just some of the questions that I thought about when I read you article.

For those that would like to live longer and have the means to do so; this is great. However, if people will live longer we will need to honestly think about what kind of impact this will have on our society. Not everything is good and I think this could be one of them.

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