The island where people forget to die.
October 24, 2012 5:38 AM Subscribe
posted by unSane (56 comments total)
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Ask the very old on Ikaria how they managed to live past 90, and they’ll usually talk about the clean air and the wine. Or, as one 101-year-old woman put it to me with a shrug, “We just forget to die.” The reality is they have no idea how they got to be so old. And neither do we
Ikaria, an island in the Aegean, is home to one of a group of exceptionally long-lived, healthy human populations. For a decade, Dan Buettner has been organizing a study of such places. Together with other researchers, he identified a region of Sardinia’s Nuoro province as the place with the highest concentration of male centenarians in the world. As they zeroed in on a cluster of villages high in Nuoro’s mountains, they drew a boundary in blue ink on a map and began referring to the area inside as the “blue zone.” Starting in 2002, they identified three other populations around the world where people live measurably longer lives than everyone else. The world’s longest-lived women are found on the island of Okinawa. On Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, they discovered a population of 100,000 mestizos with a lower-than-normal rate of middle-age mortality. And in Loma Linda, Calif., they identified a population of Seventh-day Adventists in which most of the adherents’ life expectancy exceeded the American average by about a decade.