10 Surprising Facts About Centenarians

10 Surprising Facts About Centenarians

Many studies have been done recently on the lifestyles and diets of the “Blue Zone” people. These are areas around the world where there are high concentrations of people who live to be 100 and beyond, otherwise known as centenarians.

In This Article

10 Surprising Facts About Centenarians

  1. How much money you have has little to do with how long you live, according to one study in blue provinces of Guangxi and Hainan in China. (1)
  2. While being happy with high morale is linked to longevity (2), being a comedian is associated with increased risk of death compared to their not-so-funny counterparts. (3)
  3. Okinawa’s population of centenarians is declining. A study suggests that this is due to increased meat consumption, a high fat-to-exertion ratio and a reduction in the daily intake of beans, pulses and green and yellow vegetables. (4)
  4. Centenarians drink and smoke as much as their shorter-lived counterparts. (5)
  5. Having children later in life is linked to longevity. In one study, women who gave birth in their forties were four times more likely to live over 100, compared to women who lived to only 73. (6)
  6. The more children you have, the longer you live. Lifespans of fathers increased by .23 years per child, and the lifespan of mothers increased by .32 years per child up to 14 children. After 14 kids, lifespan decreased with each additional child. (7) Daughters seem to extend the life of fathers. (12)
  7. The transmission of knowledge from grandparents to progeny served as a driving force for extending human longevity. (8)
  8. 20 to 25% of centenarians are community dwelling, cognitively intact and generally vibrant and full of life. (9)
  9. The Okinawan diet – which is linked to longevity – is low-calorie, 90% plant-based, nutrient-dense, and antioxidant-rich with a low glycemic load. (10)
  10. Positive emotions early in life tend to contribute to longevity. (11)


  1. http://www.Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25847813
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25779630
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25463379
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18924533
  5. http://wellblogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/centenarians-have-plenty-of-bad-habits-too/? r=0
  6. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v389/n6647/abs/389133a0.html
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16510865
  8. http://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047637499000214
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1737657
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20234038
  11. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/80/5/804/
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16634019

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