Todavía tengo tengo tiempo

Navegando después de despertarme llegué a una página llamada Living to 100 gracias a un link en Kimniekan.

La muerte no es un tema que me obsesione.

He estado muy cerca tres veces pero aqui estoy. Es algo que va a pasar en algún momento y no voy a dejar de vivir por eso. En general debo coincidir con lo que justo ayer oía decir a Lex Luthor “… I don’t believe in luck. It’s our wits and our fortitude that keep us safe” – era un re-run del fin de temporada de Smallville.

Wits and fortitude nos sacan de muchas cosas. Pero hay cosas que se dan sin que uno intervenga. Nada sobrenatural, tienen explicación, pero justo sucede que se dan cuando uno las necesita siendo que facilmente podrían no haberse dado o podrían haber sido de otra forma.

Quizá por eso, entre otras cosas, me dicen que viviré hasta los 92 años. Lo que es interesante es ver que considera el Dr. Perls para hacer tal afirmación. Luego del test hay un feedback que copio más abajo, se me ocurre que este es un buen lugar donde no perderlo.

………

Gender

Male: As a man, compared to women, you likely need to be more diligent about good health habits. If they develop heart attack or stroke, men tend to do so about ten years earlier than women. The reason for how and why women have this advantage is unclear. One possibility is that women make much more estrogen than men and this hormone might be associated with some protective effect, though this has in no way been proven. Another possibility is that chronic iron deficiency (due to menstruation) gives a woman her advantage. Iron is critical to our cells’ ability to produce age-accelerating free radicals that also predispose to heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Men can `menstruate` every eight weeks by donating a pint of blood at their local hospital or other blood bank center. Eight weeks is the recommended period (no pun intended) of time between donations. Donating blood has certainly not been proven to improve cardiovascular risk, though the downside, while performing a good deed, would seem to be minimal.

A. Each year, with your heath care provider, be sure to cover the following.

* Medical history and physical exam
* Tobacco use
* Diet and exercise counseling
* Alcohol and substance abuse
* Sex-related concerns
* Vision screen and hearing test
* Depression screen
* Self examination counseling (e.g. skin and testicula exam)
* Driver safety counseling (e.g. seat belt use, assessment of driving safety record)

B. And, have the following checked by physical examination and/or laboratory evaluation annually:

* Obesity screening and counseling (body mass index and waist size)
* Blood pressure
* Prostate exam and serum prostatic specific antigen or PSA, after age 40, if there is a family history of prostate cancer, being of African-American descent, consumption of a high-fat diet, or having had a vasectomy.
* Stool for any blood (requires a special test to detect trace, invisible amounts) after age 40 if there is any family history of colon cancer
* Total blood cholesterol
* Blood glucose (for diabetes)
* Electrocardiogram (ECG) if you are at increased risk for heart disease (increased risk would be the case if you have two or more of the following: a family history of heart attack, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes or smoking)

C. Be sure that the following is performed regularly at the recommended intervals:

* Tuberculin skin test (PPD) every 1-3 years depending upon your risk of being exposed to tuberculosis
* Exercise treadmill test (ETT) if at increased risk for heart disease (increased risk would be the case if you have two or more of the following: a family history of heart attack, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes or smoking)
* Tetanus vaccination every five years

Marital Status

Interestingly, New England Centenarian Study data suggest that marriage or having a partner in your life has different effects upon your life expectancy depending upon whether you are a man or woman. As a man, being married will likely improve your chances of living to 100. Findings from other studies indicate that being single is not such a big deal, but being recently divorced is associated with decreased longevity.

Proximity of Family

Having reasonably frequent contact with family or friends who are like family to you can be an important feature of your ability to manage stress well and is probably a life expectancy extender. Good thing that you have family nearby. Extended family cohesiveness and frequent contact is a notable feature of centenarian families. Researchers have noted that people who do not belong to cohesive families have fewer coping resources and increased levels of social and psychological stress. Psychological stress is associated with heart disease, various cancers and increased mortality risk.

How Do You Cope With Stress?

Keep up the good work. Doing your best to better manage your stress will positively impact on many different aspects of your emotional and physical health. Consider numerous options in better managing your stress. Take a deep breath next time you are stressed and step back for a moment knowing that shedding the stress will be a much better immediate way of dealing with the matter and long term it will help you delay or even avoid illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Try to learn methods (Tai Chi, breathing techniques, meditation) or activities (physical exercise, prayer) that help with shedding stress instead of internalizing it. Centenarians shed emotional stress exceptionally well. Their stress-shedding personalities and the familial support, which they receive and contribute to are important stress-reducing mechanisms. Refer to the Mind Body Institute for more information [http://www.mindbody.harvard.edu]


Sleep Habits

Not getting enough sleep or experiencing ineffective sleep is common. There are many causes of sleep-related disorders and of not getting enough effective sleep. Not getting enough sleep or experiencing ineffective sleep is common. There are many causes of sleep-related disorders and not getting enough effective sleep. There are also numerous good approaches and treatments to reverse these problems. Unfortunately, there are ineffective and even harmful ways of attempting to cure sleep problems. Two helpful sites are the Stanford University Center for the Center of Excellence for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Disorders [http://www.med.stanford.edu/school/psychiatry/coe/] and sleepnet.com [http://www.sleepnet.com/].

Education

All those years of education will likely increase your life expectancy for obvious reasons such as your being a more informed consumer of health care and your being more likely to partake in healthy behaviors such as not smoking and having a healthy diet. Regarding your brain health, continue to participate in cognitively challenging activities, exercising parts of your brain that haven’t been used so much – new activities that are difficult (what neuropsychologist Paul Naussbaum terms “novel and complex”). Learn a new language or musical instrument; if you don’t have time for these most potent activities, try crosswords, Scrabble, bridge, sculpture or painting.. but when you get good at something, move on to another cognitively challenging activity. Cognitively challenging activities as an adult, have been shown to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and to slow its progression.

Hours of Sleep

You are getting a reasonable amount of sleep. Several studies, particularly a large study performed in Japan, indicates increased mortality and heart disease associated with an average of less than 6 hours of sleep a night.

Stress factors:

Thankfully, the number of major stressors in your life are minimal, though understandably, the few that you have may still have a significant impact upon your well-being. Of course, where you can, decrease or take steps to eventually remove the stress. Additionally, try a number of strategies that can reduce the adverse effect stress can have on you. The key here is that you perform these regularly:

* Take time out to take one or two deep breaths
* Leave earlier to get to appointments on time
* Plan awards for yourself when you accomplish things
* Plan regular events that you can look forward to such as a sporting event, a concert series, a date and/or massage with your loved one
* Regularly take time out for yourself for an activity that is not stressful or reduces stress even once a week (exercise, yoga, stretching, going for a hike or walk)
* Don’t be hard on yourself. You are your best friend.
* Participate in activities that will lead to your laughing
* Go to bed earlier, not later
* Try something new and get good enough at it to the point that you enjoy it (art, a game, line dancing, a sport or recreation)
* Stop behaviors that you personally have control of and ultimately make you feel bad (binge eating, smoking, etc)
* Demonstrate and receive love for and from someone (including a pet)
* Share your troubles and concerns with someone who you trust and who listens and do the same for them


Hours on the Job

A recent Japanese study of the relationship between work hours and heart attack risk revealed that men who worked, on average, 11 hours or more a day had twice the risk of heart attack. Interestingly though, is that those who worked less than 7 hours a day were also at increased risk. The number of hours you are working might translate into poorer health over a long period of time. Try to take steps to cut back. If you can’t cut back, attempt to find time during the day for meaningful breaks.

You are working the usual number of days per week. Those who regularly work 6 or 7 days a week probably set themselves up for stress-related chronic illness(es)


Optimism

Your optimism likely has a real impact upon our longevity! According to AARP and Dutch investigators who, over a decade, tracked 1,000 people ages 65 to 85, people who are open to opportunities and possibilities have a 55 percent lower risk of death; in doing so, you end up less stressed, happier, healthier and more long-lived.

Smog

The good news is that cities are cleaner now than they were even ten years ago. The bad news is that you are still exposed to air pollution. If you are experiencing new respiratory symptoms and you don’t smoke, consider air pollution as a potential cause and discuss this with your physician or a specialist. Don’t go out exerting yourself when smog alerts are in effect.

Seat Belts

The majority of lethal car accidents occur within 5 miles of the driver’s home. Many people don’t put their seat belts on because they assume nothing will happen if it’s just a short drive. The statistics clearly tell a different story. Many lethal accidents, including those that involve deployed air bags, would not be lethal if the person had been wearing their seat belts. Wearing a seatbelt, even in the presence of an airbag, dramatically increases your chances of minimizing injury or surviving a serious car accident.

Coffee

Whatever your reason for not drinking coffee, it definitely has you on the right track. Don’t start because it is much harder to stop the habit once you pick it up. Excessive coffee can be a sign of increased stress. Stress can lead to a hormonal imbalance, which can physically stress and age numerous organs. In addition, coffee predisposes the stomach to chronic inflammation of the stomach and ulcers. Such chronic inflammation leads to release of substances that raise the risk of heart disease. Tea, and especially green tea, on the other hand, has been noted for its significant antioxidant content, and tea drinkers in general appear to be healthier.

Tea

Try to give tea a chance. You may find that it grows on you. Regular tea consumption is a healthy habit that may actually be life extending. The antioxidants in tea may decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer. Tea contains a powerful class of antioxidants known as polyphenols. It is controversial whether green tea has more bioavailable polyphenols than black tea. Either way however, you can’t go wrong.

Smoking

By not smoking or being exposed to substantial second hand smoke, you are avoiding a prevalent and important cause of people dying in their 70s and earlier. 400,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking and many more people suffer from smoking-related and debilitating diseases each year. Cigarette smoke contains toxins, which directly damage DNA and subsequently cause cancer. Cigarettes are the biggest direct source of nitro amines humans are exposed to. These substances along with other constituents of cigarette smoke are potent oxidants and carcinogens that lead to accelerated aging, and diseases associated with aging. Each day, nearly 5,000 adolescents (aged 11-17) smoke their first cigarette. Almost two million teens annually, and approximately one-third of those that become smokers will eventually die of smoking-related illnesses. Helpful internet sites: Quitnet [http://www.quitnet.org/qn_main.jtml] and the American Lung Association [http://www.lungusa.org/]

Second-hand Smoke

Avoiding second hand smoke is a very important habit. Because second hand smoke is even more toxic than the filtered smoke that smokers inhale, it takes less of a ‘dose’ or exposure to be toxic to your lungs and your body in general. Thus, keep avoiding the secondhand smoke as you have been doing. Second hand smoke is more toxic than what the smoker gets because it is unfiltered. Such exposure is clearly a substantial cause of cancer, heart disease, asthma and other lung diseases.

Alcohol

A moderate amount of alcohol consumption as you have indicated may be healthy for you and possibly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. There is substantial evidence inferring that mild to moderate alcohol consumption can be good for you. One study suggests that even a little more frequent consumption (one glass a day) might be good for you. However, some people cannot tolerate even a small amount of alcohol for medical or other reasons. Discuss your intake with your health care provider. Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with decreased heart disease risk. This may be one explanation for the “French paradox”, in which the French are known for their love of high saturated fat foods, and yet their heart disease risks may be lower (except in the case of those who smoke cigarettes), perhaps because of the higher consumption of wine in that country. Significant controversy revolves around what type of alcohol (wine, beer or liquor) helps. Remember that on the other hand, excessive alcohol is a toxin, which damages the liver and the mitochondria within most cells of the body. This leads to acceleration of aging and increased susceptibility to many diseases associated with aging.

Aspirin

Taking an aspirin daily has been shown to decrease the risk of heart attack by half. Try to increase your intake to daily. 81 mg of Aspirin per day has been noted to significantly decrease heart disease risk. This benefit may be due to the anti-blood clotting effects of aspirin. Chronic inflammation may also play a role in heart disease (see 11, below) and therefore, aspirin’s effect on inflammation may also be helpful. For more information go to: American Heart Association’s findings [http://www.americanheart.org/]

Sunscreen

You are doing a good job protecting yourself from the sun and therefore from accelerated aging of your skin as well as deadly skin cancers such as from melanoma. Just because you do protect yourself, does not mean you should not have a regular skin (dermatology) check up and perform a monthly self-examination of your skin. The association between sun exposure and accelerated skin aging are clear. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight directly damages DNA. More sun means more wrinkles sooner. It also means a higher risk of deadly skin cancer. Excessive sun exposure may also have toxic consequences for the body in general. For guidance on a self-exam, see skincheck.com [http://www.skincheck.com/]


Sex and Drugs

Your sex and/or drug related behavior is critically putting your life and others’ lives at risk. Viruses such as HIV and others, which are transmitted by risky behavior not only cause AIDS but also various cancers including lymphoma. AIDS and Hepatitits of course can be lethal. These viruses can also change DNA and probably also, as a result, influence aging as well. For more information, go to: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/youth/index.htm

Flossing

You need to floss your teeth. There are benefits that go far beyond better breath, but don’t underestimate the benefits of good breath! Diligent and regular flossing means keeping your teeth and very possibly reducing your risk of heart attack. Recent scientific evidence reveals that chronic gum disease leads to the release of inflammatory, toxic substances and certain bacteria into the blood stream which potentiate plaque formation in arteries and ultimately lead to heart disease. This process probably also increases the risk of stroke and accelerated aging. For more information, go to: American Dental Association’s findings [http://www.ada.org/].

Your Weight

Your calculated body mass index indicates that you are likely overweight. If you are in fact lean (minimal amount of fat) and this calculation is off because of your unique build and greater than expected amount of muscle, then this assumption is incorrect and you should add a few years to your calculated healthspan (with apologies). Though, if this is the case, perhaps you should have answered “yes” the bodybuilding/strength training question. If, to be honest, you are a bit overweight, then you should do what you can to get down to a lean (as little fat as possible) body weight. Being overweight significantly increases your risk for diseases that markedly impact upon your healthspan including heart trouble, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, stroke and dementia. Set aside the 30 minutes a day to exercise and be on a diet that will lead to your losing some weight (burn more calories than you take in) and eventually maintaining a healthspan maximizing weight. As you age, you may find it even more challenging to keep the weight off. You will find, if you aren’t doing it already, that getting into a regular regimen of weight training to maintain or build muscle mass will be very effective in keeping the weight off. Of course diet is also important and lowering your consumption of carbohydrates is helpful. Diet advice is covered by the questions related to carbohydrates and sweets.

Fast Food

Your answer suggests that you avoid fast food restaurants and preserved meats. You are already going a long way towards a healthy diet. Keep it up! Fast food, generally fried foods and hamburgers, are high in calories and saturated fats. These will make you gain weight and they increase your risk for heart disease, stroke and perhaps cancer. Some studies suggest that 90% of all human cancers are environmentally induced, 30-40% of these by diet. Preserved and cured meats (bacon, sausage, lunch meats, etc.) are the largest source of nitrites in our diet. Nitrites lead to the formation in our bodies of nitrosoamines, which are important environmental oxidants and probable carcinogens. For instance, there is a suggestive association between nitrosamines and stomach cancer.

Grilling Food

Good, you are being careful with your grilling and barbecuing by not exposing your food to extremely high temperatures. Such high temperatures can alter proteins to produce carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines. On the other hand, be careful to cook enough foods such as poultry and hamburger so that harmful bacteria such as E coli and Salmonella are killed.


Calcium Intake

Most adult men and women fall short of optimal recommended calcium intake. The bones of the human skeleton contain 99.5% of the total calcium in the body. Thus if your body needs calcium for purposes other than making bone, and there is not enough calcium in your diet, then the body will take the calcium away from your bones, thus making them weaker. Insuring that you have enough calcium and vitamin D (which facilitates the body’s ability to use calcium) in your diet will help prevent this. Adequate calcium intake in later life can slow the bone loss associated with aging. In addition to dairy products, calcium-fortified juices, breads and cereals are also excellent sources, as are calcium supplements like TUMS and over the counter calcium supplements. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb the calcium we get in our diets. Milk is fortified with vitamin D and our bodies also make it when our skin is exposed to 15 to 20 minutes a day of sunlight. People who rarely go outside are prone to vitamin D deficiency. Large quantities of salty foods and meat can significantly increase the amount of calcium lost in the urine. Adequate calcium intake may not prevent the accelerated bone loss in women during and for several years after menopause, caused by estrogen deficiency. Some foods high in calcium also contain oxalic acid, which interferes with calcium absorption. Spinach is such a food.

Meat Intake

Good for you. A diet that minimizes meat is healthier. Less meat in the diet is conducive to less heart disease and risk for heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, there are nutritional sources of antioxidants in foods that replace meat in a person’s diet especially the polyphenols present in certain vegetables and fruits and the omega-3 fatty acids in fish that help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Weighing meat against vegetables and fish or skinless poultry, red meat loses out when it comes to your health. The American Heart Association recommends a diet that minimizes meat in the diet and emphasizes these alternatives. Vegetarian dishes, in addition to being an alterative to meat, also have antioxidants that protect the heart and brain. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help a person raise their good cholesterol (HDL) and lower their bad cholesterol (LDL) thus decreasing their risk for heart attack and stroke. Interestingly, the vascular risk associated with red meat may be related to the fact that it is the major source of iron in our diet. The iron present in vegetables, like spinach, is relatively bio-unavailable. As you will read in greater detail, under the topic of iron supplements, iron plays a critical role in our cells’ ability to produce harmful free radicals that likely potentiate aging and age-related illnesses.

Dessert

Wow, such restraint! You should be proud of yourself and keep it up. Certainly, it is understandable if you have diabetes or significant heart or cerebrovascular disease (stroke and dementia) that you are staying away from sweets. By staying away from these foods that have little in the way of nutritional value and yet significantly increase propensity for obesity and therefore heart attack, stroke, cancer and diabetes, anyone will make great gains in their life expectancy and the proportion of their lives spent in good health. Most deserts and certainly candy bars are high in saturated fats and calories. Both are terrible for you predisposing for weight gain, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. By helping you become obese, they increase your risk of various cancers.

Carbohydrate consumption

Not only are the number of calories you eat important, but the type of calories are important as well. Grains, pastas, fruits, and starchy vegetables like potatoes are the most common carbohydrate foods. Simple carbohydrates like white bread, potatoes (especially French fries), pasta, white rice and sugar as well, cause the body to produce insulin in response to elevated levels of glucose in the blood. The insulin in turn induces the storage, instead of burning, of fat. Other foods like fats, protein, and more complex carbohydrates like whole grain foods and fiber are less prone to turn on the production of insulin. The glycemic index of food is a ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels and thus the production of insulin. Carbohydrate foods that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes causing blood sugar and insulin to rise fast and high. Carbohydrates that breakdown slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes. The lower the glycemic index, the less likely that food is going to contribute to the production of fat. There are numerous books and websites that provide the glycemic indices for foods and drinks. However the general food groups noted above are a good start in your education.

Diet and Your Weight

Good for you! You are doing better or at least aiming for a goal better than more than 60% of the country who are at least overweight. Being overweight is a significant risk factor for many age-related diseases as well as various cancers. Keep up the good work. Stay lean! Obesity is associated with inefficient energy production and an increased production of oxygen radicals within cells, therefore leading to increased risk of various cancers, heart disease and accelerated aging. It may also lead to diabetes.

Iron Intake

Taking an iron supplement might potentiate your aging and risk for age-related diseases. There is growing evidence from animal and human studies that iron levels are related to aging and age-associated diseases. As a critical component of mitochondrial free radical generation, iron has been proposed by some to be a key modulator of rate of aging and susceptibility to age-related diseases. Some data support the potentiating role of iron in lipid peroxidation, the first step in the formation of atherosclerotic (arterial plaque) lesions. The available epidemiological evidence suggests that elevated iron levels are involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Menstrual blood loss and resultant iron deficiency might be protective against vascular disease and even contribute to the premenopausal survival advantage of women over men. Further studies are needed to determine whether there are cardiovascular benefits or risks associated with blood donation. Men may have the opportunity to be more female-like in their risk for vascular diseases by regularly donating blood, which could induce an iron deficiency. Blood donation has actually been associated with a decreased risk of atherosclerosis.

Exercise

Wow, you are being terrific about exercising. Don’t forget to be balanced in how much aerobic exercise you do versus strength training. Both are very important. Also, if you are doing a lot of high impact workouts, gauge how much wear and tear you are putting on your weight-bearing joints so that you don’t set yourself up for premature osteoarthritis. Exercise leads to more efficient energy production by your cells and less oxygen radical formation (which speeds up aging and increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and cancer). Muscle is a tremendously efficient burner of fat and maintaining muscle mass has many benefits. Therefore, strength training is important. Depending upon how much one weighs, we generally loose a third of a pound of muscle every year after age 30, which is replaced by fat. Muscle loss can be completely reversed no matter what your age, by regular strengthening


Bowel Movements

Having a bowel movement at least once every two days may be at least associated with decreased risk of colon cancer. Keeping gut transit time under 20 hours seems to decrease the incidence of colon cancer, probably by decreasing the contact time between the gut lining and cancer-potentiating substances in the diet. These substances influence DNA damage and repair and therefore probably also influence the rate of aging as well. Epidemiological studies in humans and animal studies suggest that increasing dietary fiber will reduce the risk of certain cancers perhaps by increasing the frequency of bowel movements. On the other hand, recent reports indicate that the association may not be as clear as once believed. In addition to increased transit time and therefore less contact between carcinogens and the bowel wall, perhaps other factors that increase transit time such as regular exercise might be the real reason for decreased cancer risk.

Self-Examination for Cancer

Self-examination is critical in detecting this cancer before it is too late. Most testicular cancers occur between the ages of 15 and 40. But, this cancer can affect males of any age, including infants and elderly men. In about 90% of cases, men have a painless or an uncomfortable lump on a testicle, or they may notice testicular enlargement or swelling. Men with testicular cancer often report a sensation of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum. Make sure you are performing the exam correctly by visiting the American Cancer Society’s Testicular Cancer resource Center. http://www3.cancer.org/cancerinfo/load_cont.asp?st=ds&ct=41&language=english

Cholesterol Tests

Not knowing what your HDL level should be considered a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It means you are not availing yourself of some key information to decrease your risk for these diseases. HDL cholesterol is known as the “good” cholesterol because a high level of HDL cholesterol appears to protect against heart attack. Medical experts think that HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is processed, dumped in the intestine and then passed from the body. Some experts believe that excess cholesterol is removed from atherosclerotic plaque by HDL, thus slowing the build-up. However, low HDL cholesterol levels (lower than 35 mg/dL) may result in a greater risk for heart disease and stroke. For more information about cholesterol, other risk factors and treatment, go to the American Heart Association’s website at: http://www.americanheart.org/

Knowing your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke is important if you are going to positively impact your health span. Some of these factors that increase your risk could be high even if you think you have a healthy diet and you exercise regularly. Thus, you need to see your health professional and get your blood tested. For more information about cholesterol go to the American Heart Association’s Website at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1516


Diabetes

Of course, it is great that you don’t have diabetes. Lower your risk by loosing weight if you are overweight. Get your blood sugar checked at least every three years and watch for some of the more common symptoms of diabetes including excessive and persistent thirst, voiding large amounts of urine frequently with normal amounts of fluid intake, unexplained weight loss. Diabetes occurs because a person’s body does not make enough insulin and/or because the cells and tissues in their body are relatively resistant to the insulin they produce (and so the insulin is less effective). As a result, diabetics can have large amounts of glucose in their circulation. By far and away, the more common form of diabetes is Adult Onset Diabetes and this is often associated with obesity. This form is often well controlled (meaning the blood glucose level is kept normal) with weight loss, diet and/or oral medication. Sometimes insulin injections are necessary. The other form of diabetes is called juvenile diabetes, which more often occurs in children and requires insulin injections. Good control has been shown to decrease risk of heart and kidney disease and diabetic eye problems, all unfortunate problems associated with diabetes. Like high blood pressure, a person can have diabetes for a long time and not know it, thus it is very important that children and adults are regularly screened for it. The good news is that people are leaving long, productive and basically otherwise normal lives given the excellent treatments available. Watch for some of the more common symptoms of diabetes including excessive and persistent thirst, voiding large amounts of urine frequently with normal amounts of fluid intake, unexplained weight loss. Take a diabetes risk test: American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/ada/risktest.asp

Check-Ups

Regular checkups are so important. The frequency of checkups depends on your age and what if any medical or other clinically relevant problems you might have. Generally, anyone age 40 or older should be having annual checkups.


Heart Attack

Great news that you have not had a heart attack. If you have been avoiding or minimizing the risk factors for heart attack (also called heart disease or coronary artery disease). If you have some of the risk factors, then you have been lucky thus far that you haven’t had a heart attack. If you are young, then you should know that 90% of heart attack victims have at least one of the following risk factos so you might be setting yourself up for a heart attack in the future. Here are the typical risk factors that you can modify: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes (improve sugar control), being overweight or cigarette smoking.

Family History of Heart Attack of Diabetes

You are lucky to not have heart attack or diabetes running in your family. Now do a good job of taking advantage of those genes and don’t do things that could predispose you to the disease nonetheless, such as being obese, smoking and not exercising regularly.

Family History of Cancer

You are lucky to apparently not have cancer running in your family. Now do a good job of taking advantage of those genes and don’t do things that could predispose you to cancer nonetheless, such as being obese, smoking, etc.

Family History For Longevity

It is great that your mom is healthy. Given that she is less than 80, it is still a bit hard to predict her longevity and therefore form some idea of her contribution to your longevity

It is great that your dad is healthy. Given that he is less than 80, it is still a bit hard to predict his longevity and therefore form some idea of his contribution to your longevity

Exceptional longevity runs strongly in families. Some of that may be genes and some may be health and cultural habits that family members have in common. It is not known yet how much a grandparent’s longevity contributes to their grandchild’s longevity, but it is very likely that the contribution is enough to improve your own chances of getting to very old age, much of it in good health.

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