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Tall, slim ladies likely to live until age 90 — Study

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Women who are tall and slim are more likely to live until the age of 90 , a new study has revealed .The findings, published online by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , did also show that physical activity is linked to longer lifespans in both sexes , reports Mirror UK .

But the more time men spend being physically active every day , the longer their lifespan , whereas the optimum amount for women was 60 minutes .

Although average life expectancy has risen over the past few decades , it has recently started to plateau in some developed nations .
Increasing levels of obesity and physical inactivity are believed to be behind the trend .

Previous research has looked at the associations between weight body mass index , physical activity , and reaching old age , but most studies have combined both sexes , or focused exclusively on men .

Women and men ’ s lifespans differ , which may be influenced by factors such as hormones , genes and lifestyle.

To explore these differences further , the researchers analysed data from the Netherlands Cohort Study , which included more than 120 , 000 men and women aged between 55 and 69 when it began in 1986 .

They wanted to see if there were any links between height , weight , leisure time physical activity , and the likelihood of reaching the age of 90 , and if there were any differences between men and women .

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More than 7 , 800 men and women , aged between 68 and 70 , provided detailed information in 1986 on their current weight , height , weight when aged 20 , and their leisure time physical activity .

The details included activities such as gardening , dog walking, DIY , walking or cycling to work , and recreational sports , which were grouped into categories of daily quotas – less than 30 minutes , 30 to 60 minutes , and 90 minutes or more .

Participants were then monitored until death or the age of 90 , whichever came first .

The researchers considered potentially influential factors , such as whether the participants were current or former smokers , how much they drank , their educational attainment , and usual energy intake .

Some 433 men , 16 . 7 per cent , and 944 women , 34 . 4 per cent , survived to the age of 90 .

Women who were still alive by this age were , on average taller , had weighed less at the start of the study , and had put on less weight since the age of 20 than those who were shorter and heavier .

What ’ s more , women who were more than 5 ft9 in height were 31 per cent more likely to reach 90 than women less than 5 ft3 .

The research showed no such links were seen among the men .

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Lead researcher Lloyd Brandts , a PhD candidate at Maastricht University Medical Centre in Holland , said : “ In men , a significantly linear positive dose -response relationship was found between increasing non – occupational physical activity and the chance of reaching longevity .

“ In women , a significantly inverse U -shaped relationship was found between non – occupational physical activity and longevity , with the highest chance of reaching longevity around 60 minutes of non – occupational physical activity per day .

“ In our study , height was positively associated with the chance of reaching longevity in women but not in men . In epidemiological studies, height is often positively associated with several types of cancer and inversely associated with cardiovascular disease , diabetes , pulmonary disease and mortality risk in both men and women .

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