How to live healthier and longer

Health and longevity are two related concepts.

Death occurs when a vital organ fails, so having a good general health improves longevity.

Also living a long live with a lot of pain (bad health) makes no sense.

There are two approaches about this problem:

Improving lifespan in mice

Recently (15 December 2016) some researchers at Salk Institute managed to increase lifespan for mice suffering progeria disease without changing the progeria gene.

In Vivo Amelioration of Age-Associated Hallmarks by Partial Reprogramming

They induced cells to return to pluripotent state during a sort space of time, so cells autorepair themselves.

Until this one, experiments trying this path had resulted in mice developing a lot of tumors.

Anyway this approach is still very experimental and not applicable to humans.

Opposite approach

Because we do not know how to increase our lifespan, we try the opposite approach, that is avoiding death.

Most common causes of death in developed countries:


Cause % of deaths
Coronary heart disease 17.1
Stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases 9.8
Trachea, bronchus, lung cancers 5.8
Lower respiratory infections 4.3
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 3.9
Colon and rectal cancers 3.3
Alzheimer and other dementias 2.7
Diabetes mellitus 2.7
Breast cancer 1.9
Stomach cancer 1.8

Deaths in millions from WHO in 2001:

Cause Millions of deaths
Ischaemic heart disease 3,512,000
Cerebrovascular disease 3,346,000
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 1,829,000
Lower respiratory infections 1,180,000
Lung cancer 938,000
Car crash 669,000
Stomach cancer 657,000
Hypertensive heart disease 635,000
Tuberculosis 571,000
Suicide 499,000

We observe preventing heart and cerebro-vascular disease would diminish the 17.1 + 9.8 = 26.9% of deaths.

So main conclusion is take care of your cardiovascular system!