Those who live to reach 100 years of life may be healthier than researchers previously thought, according to a new study.
The findings, published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, found that those who lived to be at least 100 had fewer chronic diseases than men and women who died between ages 80-99 years.
“Our aim was to gain a better understanding of multimorbidity, i.e. the number and severity of chronic diseases affecting centenarians towards the end of their lives,” study author Dr. Paul Gellert said in a statement.
As more people are projected to live to 100, researchers continue to study how centenarians’ extreme age affects their health. In an effort to explore the topic, Gellert and his colleagues studied health data from about 1,400 of the oldest people who lived in Germany before their death. The data was divided into three different groups: those who died at age 100 or older, those who died in their nineties, and those who died in their eighties. The researchers focused specifically on their final six years of life.
“According to the data, centenarians suffered from an average of 3.3 such conditions during the three months prior to their deaths, compared with an average of 4.6 conditions for those who had died in their eighties,” Dr. Gellert said. “Our results also show that the increase in conditions seen during the last few years of life was lower in centenarians than in those who had died between the ages of 90 and 99, or 80 and 89.”
Although the findings revealed that centenarians had more cases of various types of dementia and heart failure than the younger adults in the study, it was revealed that those who died after turning 100 years old were less likely to have high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, renal failure and chronic diseases. To confirm these results, the researchers note more studies should be conducted.
There’s many reasons why people are living longer, but it’s in part thanks to the discovery of antibiotics, better obstetric care, improved treatment of age-related diseases, and better health education, according to Mayo Clinic. However, many of the questions about how people live to extreme ages are a mystery, Dr. James Kirkland, director of Mayo Clinic’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging cited in a 2016 report.
“People 100 years old and older seem to be resilient and more indestructible. We want to study and learn what we can about 100-year-olds, especially their genetics, to see if there are treatments we can develop to try to increase health span for the general population,” Dr. Kirkland said in a statement.
Link Original: http://www.medicaldaily.com/centenarians-may-be-healthier-final-years-life-previously-thought-420409