Living to 90+

A very good “60 Minutes” segment on a large study of 90+ year olds.


No smoking.

Socialize and keep your mind active.

Exercise 45 minutes per day. Doesn’t have to be vigorous or continuous. Exercising more than 45 minutes daily did not increase longevity.

1 to 3 cups of coffee daily (too bad I’m allergic to caffeine).

Do not be underweight or obese. Normal weight is OK. Overweight live longest. That’s not true of the middle-aged, but it is true of the very old.

Moderate alcohol is good. Doesn’t have to be wine.

Low blood pressure in the very old can cause brain infarcts (tiny mini-strokes that have no symptoms but gradually eat away at the living brain tissue, causing dementia). Normal or high blood pressure is best for the very old. High blood pressure being good is counterintuitive, but that’s what the data say.

The demographic segment of the very old is increasing faster than any other age group. Unfortunately, dementia doubles every 5 years after age 60. That continues throughout life so the risk of dementia in old age is high.

This program was originally made in 2014. It doesn’t say anything about sleep. More recent research shows that the brain cleans out “garbage” (broken proteins, etc.) during deep sleep. Unfortunately, many older people wake many times at night and have difficulty achieving deep sleep. That’s associated with an increased risk of dementia. Sleeping very long periods (>10 hours per day) and/or lots of naps during the day is associated with a greater risk of dementia. So try to ge 7-9 hours of solid sleep per night if you can.



I took care of my uncle until he died at age 94. My conclusion was that he was existing not living. I will be happy to reach 80. I have desire to live past age 80.

I took care of my uncle until he died at age 94. My conclusion was that he was existing not living.

Dr. Bill Thomas of the Eden Alternative coined the lovely expression, “A life worth living.”

The Captain

“I took care of my uncle until he died at age 94. My conclusion was that he was existing not living.”

My Uncle lived to 94. Visited him at 91 (he was 1200 miles away). Was in a CCR type deal. He moved there at age 90 for several reasons including his 100 year old house was deteriorating, the neighborhood had gone from excellent to nasty…and his wife had died 5 years earlier.

At 91, he had a nice apartment. Had 2 meals a day in the facility…had a small kitchenette.

He swam a 1/4 mile a day in the pool and did water aerobics. Had a bunch of friends. He gave up his car at 92 - the facility had shuttles to medical and shopping and food stores. There were clubs and activities.

Last 4 months he went downhill. Moved to higher level care.

Can’t complain. If only I should be so lucky. He was the runt of the large family and outlived everyone else. By far.



We all fear old age and how it will be for self and loved ones. Best is being mentally sharp for the duration. Physical disabilities can be frustrating and sometimes painful.

We do the best we can for as long as we can.


We do the best we can for as long as we can

…and very dependent on the genetic hand we’ve been dealt. Which doesn’t get mentioned very often in the context of longevity (including healthspan as well as lifespan).

Something else that doesn’t get mentioned very often is that, for maximum benefits for most folk, the lifestyle choices mentioned in the original post need to started early on. Closer to single digits (age wise) than the age that folk usually start to think about “future proofing” their body.

Not too different from financial decision making in many ways

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Wasn’t a study recently published that said any alcohol was damaging?



@steve203 I was puzzled when I saw that. Previous studies showed a benefit from a small amount of alcohol. Emphasis on small.

I will continue to drink 2 ounces of sherry wine for Kiddush every Friday night. That’s about all the alcohol I enjoy. I don’t think that will tip a health balance either way.


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My mom’s mom made it to 98 but she had dementia from age 94 forward. Her brother died around that time at age 94. He was a year older. Her sisters made it over 88 years of age.

My parents are doing well but I do not know what happens to mom if dad dies first. His mother made it to age 86 but he is in much better shape than his mother. Yet he has smoked since age 17.

I have the strong attributes of someone who lives well beyond 80. Not great attributes at age 50 but better attributes in my late 60s going by your list.

I think the publication that Steve is referring to was more along the lines of data analysis that highlighted the effects of more than a small amount of alcohol…and that what has been considered “moderate” drinking in the past might actually have adverse consequences.

A lot of these studies are observational in nature and, since that implies folk going about their daily lives, it means doing other things that’re beneficial but can’t be quantified by just observing how much they drink.

The “glass of red wine a day” is commonly associated with the centenarians in the Mediterranean countries that’re among the Blue Zones. When analysed for “what it all means” it’s often noted that the glass of red wine a day is an observation made when these centenarians got together in a social group with their lifetime cronies. A measure of the power of keeping life-long social groups and getting together with them regularly rather than the number of ounces of ethanol consumed. Drinking the same amount to numb the impact of being a lonely old shut in probably wouldn’t have the same effect … even if the amount consumed stayed at one glass.


Thanks for bumping this thread @pauleckler. I think that I watched the programme clip before I realised my family history that predisposes to shortevity, so I’m probably not likely to be going strong in my 90.

I’ve done a fair bit of wondering about and consciously doing something about my healthspan and lifespan since subscribing to Peter Attia’s podcasts over the past 3 years. Things that, for the most part, are extensions of what I’ve done for the past 50+ years…sometimes inadvertently and, apart from diligent and effective brushing and flossing and a non-cariogenic diet, for the here and now effects rather than future health and well-being (far too vain to allow myself to get fat…or smell like an old ashtray …or to run slow). Thus far, I’ve enjoyed far better cardiovascular health to a greater age and without medical intervention than my mum did. I’m wondering how likely is that to be for folk moving forward.

One feature of the regions categorised as Blue Zones (the Loma Linda Adventists excepted) is that the centenarians or very old of the early aughts … when the moniker was coined … would all have been born around 1900 and in fairly isolated communities that relied very much on local subsistence farming or fishing. Quite literally, the first half of their lives, they lived a lifestyle that has pretty much disappeared even in those communities. I suspect that their offspring (at least from grandchildren onwards) won’t enjoy the vibrant good health as seniors of that generation did.


I have never seen that before…

Does it look/“sound” wrong? I’m pretty sure I must use it frequently and automatically if only because my phone didn’t correct me…and it has plenty of strong opinions on language usage. Now I’m thinking about it, I can’t be sure.

Certainly not what one would call standard English.


Heard more than seen.

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It is joining the lexicon.

It is endlessly heard but not a word. It is not a contraction.

Now it is.