Smoking, drinking and eating fast food will not stop you living to a ripe old age – if you have the right genes. A study of hundreds of centenarians revealed they were just as likely to have vices as other people – and in some cases they indulged in them more. Some of them had smoked for 85 years, others got through more than two packets of cigarettes a day. They also exercised less than their shorter-lived counterparts but were less likely to become obese.
The bad news is it is almost impossible to be sure if you are one of the lucky few blessed with the longevity genes. This means, say the American researchers, that there is no excuse for not taking care of your health.
Almost 500 men and women aged between 95 and 109 were asked about how they had lived their lives for the study. The study of 500 men and women aged between 95 and 109 found they were more likely to have smoked and drunk
But this was far from the case, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported. The long-lived men and women were no more likely to have dieted than the others and were more likely to have smoked and drunk.
Researcher Nir Barzilai, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said: ‘This study suggests centenarians may possess additional longevity genes that help to buffer them against the harmful effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.’
But most of us will not be so lucky. He added: ‘Although this study demonstrates centenarians can be obese, smoke and avoid exercise, these lifestyle habits are not good choices for most of us who do not have a family history of longevity.’