Lifestyle factors of people with exceptional longevity

Swapnil N. Rajpathak, Yingheng Liu, Orit Ben-David, Saritha Reddy, Gil Atzmon, Jill Crandall, Nir Barzilai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess lifestyle factors including physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary habits in men and women with exceptional longevity. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: A cohort of community-dwelling Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with exceptional longevity defined as survival and living independently at age 95 and older. Participants: Four hundred seventy-seven individuals (mean 97.3±2.8, range 95-109; 74.6% women) and a subset of participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I (n=3,164) representing the same birth cohort as a comparison group. Measurements: A trained interviewer administrated study questionnaires to collect information on lifestyle factors and collected data on anthropometry. Results: People with exceptional longevity had similar mean body mass index (men, 25.4±2.8 kg/m2 vs 25.6±4.0 kg/m 2, P=.63; women, 25.0±3.5 kg/m2 vs 24.9±5.4 kg/m2; P=.90) and a similar proportion of daily alcohol consumption (men, 23.9 vs 22.4, P=.77; women, 12.1 vs 11.3, P=.80), of regular physical activity (men: 43.1 vs 57.2; P=.07; women: 47.0 vs 44.1, P=.76), and of a low-calorie diet (men: 20.8 vs 21.1, P=.32; women: 27.3 vs 27.1, P=.14) as the NHANES I population. Conclusion: People with exceptional longevity are not distinct in terms of lifestyle factors from the general population, suggesting that people with exceptional longevity may interact with environmental factors differently than others. This requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1512
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • lifestyle
  • longevity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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