Monday, September 8, 2014

Leisure World Cohort Turning 90

Photo by Ryan Dickey.
I was on my way to yoga last week, when I saw one of my husband's co-workers, lifting weights at the same gym.

After sharing our fitness goals, J.V. told me about a story featured on 60 Minutes about longevity.

J.V. remembered that some of the most recent findings encouraged 45 minutes of moderate exercise (with no benefit for more than that).

In addition, he told me that I didn't have to worry too much about becoming  a rail. Why?

The study found that a little extra weight for older adults correlated to longevity when compared to those who were thin.

This information goaded me to find the segment "Living to 90 and Beyond" online.

It did emphasize that obesity is not good for people in any life stage. In fact, those in midlife who were obese had more negative outcomes. But once people age into the oldest stages, a little extra weight was a good thing.

But the issue of weight was just the fact that led me to this goldmine of research.

Very few studies of people 90 plus exist, which is why Annlia Paganini-Hill started a research project called The 90 Plus Study, using the Leisure World cohort.  Data on them was first collected from 14,000 research participants in 1981.

I was very interested to learn that the admonitions he recited were based on a longitudinal study of older adults living that have been further studied over 30 years.  Here is a research article published in 13,199 members of this cohort after 28 years.

Of course, not all participants have been studied completely for all decades. Either they were difficult to find or they declined further participation or they died.   Nevertheless, Paganini-Hill and her team are still studying members from this cohort and publishing research about their findings.

Here is a very short (48 second) clip from the 60 Minute segment that provides an overview.

Now that I know about it, I'm going to search regularly for updates from The 90 Plus Study. And I have an added interest, because the location of the first collection--Orange County--is where I lived from the time I was 5 until I graduated from high school.

I'm hoping that I have some lifestyle habits well in place for promoting quality of life and longevity as I age. And by reading the findings, I can work to adopt more behaviors that will serve me well based on this research.


Social Engagement through the Life Span


  1. Karen:
    I saw these results on 60 Minutes the other day... let's hear it for enjoying life as best we can to make it WORTH LIVING LONGER! That's my new theme!

  2. Hi Karen! So glad to have found someone who is like-minded. I am very interested in aging as well. Great work! Looking forward to more of your posts. Peace and Age Well my new friend! :) Angela