Even the Long-Lived Smoke, Drink and Don’t Exercise

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Is living clean the key to living long? Maybe not, says a new study by Yeshiva University’s Institute for Aging Research, which shows that people who made it to the ripe age of 95 were just as likely as their shorter-lived peers to engage in the kinds of lifestyle habits that researchers deem unhealthy: eating fried foods, drinking, smoking and failing to exercise.

“They’re as bad as everyone,” says lead researcher Nir Barzilai. “The centenarians were telling us terrible stories about their life habits.”

So if it’s not healthy habits, what’s the secret sauce behind their ageless vim and vigor? It may just be in their remarkable genes, the authors said. “People with exceptional longevity may interact with environmental factors differently than others,” according to the study authors; in other words, those with longevity coded into their DNA may be protected from some of the effects of unhealthy living.

PHOTOS: Centenarians Around the World

How many of us actually have these genes is still unknown. “I know only the people who got there, not the people who may get there,” Barzilai says, noting that the only way to determine whether a person will live a long life is if they actually reach exceptionally old age. “I’m not in the prediction business.”

Barzilai’s team surveyed 477 Ashkenazi Jews between the ages of 95 and 109, with an average age of 97. Participants answered questions about their smoking history, weight, diet and exercise habits at age 70 — the age that was most representative of their typical adulthood lifestyle habits, the scientists said — and their answers were compared to those of 3,164 white individuals aged 65 to 74, collected between 1971 and 1974 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

This yielded some surprising results:

  • While 47.8% of long-lived men were overweight or obese, 55% of the comparison group was; as for the women, 43.8% of the long-lived were overweight or obese, while 41.2% of the comparison group was. However, in both men and women, rates of obesity alone were much higher in the comparison group than among the very old
  • A roughly equal percentage of both groups said they had tried low-fat or low-calorie diets
  • Only 43% of the long-lived men said they exercised regularly, while 57.2% of the comparison group did; 47% of the centenarian women reported exercising regularly, while 44.1% of the comparison group did
  • Daily alcohol consumption was similar between the two groups. However, a higher proportion of long-living men than comparison men reported consumption of any alcohol; the opposite was true for women
  • Almost 30% of the centenarian women had smoked (over 100 cigarettes) in their lifetime, while 26.2% of the comparison women did. Smoking rates were 60% for centenarian men and 75% for comparison men.

“The idea here is that … the [long-lived] have gene variants that are protectant that could trump and negate the bad effects of some bad habits,” says Thomas Perls, associate professor of medicine and geriatrics at Boston University and director of the New England Centenarian Study, who was not involved in the current study.

PHOTOS: See portraits of centenarians

He noted, however, that the findings don’t give us license to slack off on all of our good habits throughout life. For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to have exceptional longevity genes, lifestyle choices still count.

“It’s very important to understand that it’s not that if you want to live to be 100, you can smoke and not exercise,” Barzilai explains. “It’s that there are rare people who are going to be 100, and for them it doesn’t matter — they get there anyhow.”

There are some limitations to the study, such as the fact that the cohort of Ashkenazi Jews and that of the NHANES sample do not make a perfect comparison. Additionally, there are likely to be other environmental or socioeconomic factors affecting longevity that were beyond the measuring capacity of the scientists. There are also the ever-present inaccuracies associated with self-reporting.

So in case you’re not among the lucky ones with golden long-life genes, you’d probably be wise to hedge your bets. It’s still a smart idea to eat right, move your body regularly, avoid smoking and drink in moderation. That’s advice that will last a lifetime.

MORE: Health Checkup: How to Live 100 Years

Tara Thean is a TIME contributor. Find her on Twitter at @TaraThean. You can also continue the discussion on TIME‘s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

4 comments
harleyrider1777
harleyrider1777

This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

“I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study...........................

Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

harleyrider1777
harleyrider1777


Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

nap.edu

 This sorta says it all

 These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

 So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ''SAFE LEVELS''

OSHA SAFE LEVELS

 All this is in a small sealed room 9x20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

 For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

 "For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

 "Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

 Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

 "For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes.

 For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

 The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

 So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

 Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded." -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA.

Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

harleyrider1777
harleyrider1777

Judge doesnt accept statistical studies as proof of LC causation!

It was McTear V Imperial Tobacco. Here is the URL for both my summary and the Judge’s ‘opinion’ (aka ‘decision’):

http://boltonsmokersclub.wordpress.com/the-mctear-case-the-analysis/

(2.14) Prof Sir Richard Doll, Mr Gareth Davies (CEO of ITL). Prof James Friend and
Prof Gerad Hastings gave oral evidence at a meeting of the Health Committee in
2000. This event was brought up during the present action as putative evidence that
ITL had admitted that smoking caused various diseases. Although this section is quite
long and detailed, I think that we can miss it out. Essentially, for various reasons, Doll
said that ITL admitted it, but Davies said that ITL had only agreed that smoking might
cause diseases, but ITL did not know. ITL did not contest the public health messages.
(2.62) ITL then had the chance to tell the Judge about what it did when the suspicion
arose of a connection between lung cancer and smoking. Researchers had attempted
to cause lung cancer in animals from tobacco smoke, without success. It was right,
therefore, for ITL to ‘withhold judgement’ as to whether or not tobacco smoke caused
lung cancer.

[9.10] In any event, the pursuer has failed to prove individual causation.
Epidemiology cannot be used to establish causation in any individual case, and the
use of statistics applicable to the general population to determine the likelihood of
causation in an individual is fallacious. Given that there are possible causes of lung
cancer other than cigarette smoking, and given that lung cancer can occur in a nonsmoker,
it is not possible to determine in any individual case whether but for an
individual’s cigarette smoking he probably would not have contracted lung cancer
(paras.[6.172] to [6.185]).
[9.11] In any event there was no lack of reasonable care on the part of ITL at any
point at which Mr McTear consumed their products, and the pursuer’s negligence
case fails. There is no breach of a duty of care on the part of a manufacturer, if a
consumer of the manufacturer’s product is harmed by the product, but the consumer
knew of the product’s potential for causing harm prior to consumption of it. The
individual is well enough served if he is given such information as a normally
intelligent person would include in his assessment of how he wishes to conduct his
life, thus putting him in the position of making an informed choice (paras.[7.167] to
[7.181]).

ezetuloveth
ezetuloveth

what an interesting webpage please can i view this from unn.edu.ng