Tag Archives: genetics

Healthier Than Thou

13 Jun

It has always been my goal to live as long as humanly possible. And I’m not talking to 100. That’s kid’s stuff. Think about it. If 40 is the new 30, then, following the same ratio, 100 is the new 75. Any woman with a halfway decent set of genes who eats spinach a few times a year is generally going to stick around at least that long. So, no, 100 is not my end goal. I have much higher ambitions than that. I intend to kick around long enough to secure myself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest living supercentenarian on earth. I might be blind, drooling and senile, but I’ll still have one arthritic hand clutching the last threads of life. Well, that’s my hope anyway.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the longevity gene in my family. I could marry someone with bionic genes, I suppose, but that’s only going to help my offspring, and what do I care how long my child lasts if I’m not around to see it?

Heart disease runs in my family, big time. My paternal grandfather who died of Alzheimer’s had a quadruple bypass; my dad, a triple. My mom’s father died of a massive heart attack when I was just a few years old, and Mom is on medication for high cholesterol.

The relatively good news, anyway, is that life expectancy is only 25 to 35 percent genetic. The rest comes down to environment and lifestyle. Clearly, I’ve got some work to do. I may not be the healthiest person in the world, yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve decided to try a little experiment: to follow every piece of health advice I come across in the news or get from my doctor. If I do all the things I’m supposed to do, will I lead a healthier, happier and longer life? Be sure to look me up in 85 years to find out.

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