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Doc Talk: What does research tell us about how men live over 70?

Doc Talk: What does research tell us about how men live over 70?

Categories: Blog, Doc Talks, healthy aging

We talked about some new research on what helps men live longer and better on this week’s Live Facebook Doc Talk with Dr. David Wensel, Midland Care Medical Director. Tune into our live Doc Talks every Tuesday at 11 AM, and feel free to post topics you’d like to see covered.

What does research tell us about how men live over 70? Great insights from a new report that studied people for 16 years on today's Live Doc Talk with Dr. David Wensel, Midland Care Medical Director

Posted by Midland Care Connection, Inc. on Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Transcript:

Good afternoon, this is Dr. David Wensel again for Doc Talk. I am one of the Medical Directors at Midland Care and we have been having a theme over the last several weeks of this discussion about prognosis and functionality. So I am bringing another study to talk about: what are some of the predictors with regards to independent aging and survival over a 16 year period looking at men.

This study was done looking at starting with the average age of 71 year old men and following them over a 16 year period to see if we can identify what factors could tell us about whether they would still be independent or not, how long they might survive and that sort of stuff. It’s another study in a long line of studies and this one comes from The Journal of American Geriatrics Society from last month that I think really shows some interesting information, so I thought I would bring it forward.

The real reason for this study was to examine the longitudinal association between aging and function and looking at independent aging and survival and what lifestyle variables might contribute to that, what dietary patterns might contribute to that and what cardiovascular risk factors might contribute to that. It was a study of looking at 1,100 men mean age 71, who were looked at and followed over a 16 year period. The measurement was done with a questionnaire used to obtain information about lifestyle, education level, living conditions, physical activity, diet and cardiovascular risk factors. I think it’s interesting that they used those things in combination and the time of review was at the age 87, so starting at the age of 71 and review again at age 87.

The ultimate results of that were 57% of the men survived to age 85, which is interesting, and 75% of those participants had a mean age of 87 who displayed independent aging and independent aging was associated with the following things: never smoking (which is one of those risk factors that we talk about sometimes, but the people who survive to 87 had never smoked, versus those who had). The second one was looking at: did they adhere to a Mediterranean-like diet or not. Another good predictor. Ninety-five percent of those had done that.

Ninety-five percent of them also had maintained normal weight versus being overweight or obese with a waist circumference less than 102 centimeters. Again, there was a cutoff of either being overweight or obese having a waist circumference greater than 102 of having survived to the age of 87.

In conclusion to the study, they looked at lifestyle factors such as never smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, not being obese at 71 were really associated with survival and living independent aging up to the age of 87 in older men, meaning that they still lived in the community and didn’t live in facilities. Again, that’s one of those things we constantly talk about with our PACE participants, our Home Health patients, even our Hospice patients. What can we do, what things can that person do to modify their risk factors to keep them living independent in the community and then what services can we provide to wrap around them to keep them living at home?

To me, that’s the biggest point of all of this. Never smoking, following a healthy diet and not being overweight or obese are all independent factors of living longer. Not really a big surprise, but I think adds to the information that we have had in the past. Thanks again for your likes, shares and questions. Keep those coming and we will keep this going on into the future. Thanks a lot.

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