Longer Life Study

Smarter choices are helping us live longer and healthier lives. A Harvard University study of life expectancy over the past two decades finds people carrying a bounce in their step later in life. Lead author, professor David Cutler says reductions in smoking and declines in cancer, combined with improved decision making and better health care are giving people at age “70” the lifestyles they had at age “60.” “People have aged about ten years less than they formerly did and you see that in measurers of their activities in what they can do, in their walking, their ability to do light housework, their ability to live independently or with minimal assistance.” Cutler gives the reasons for longer healthier lives.  “We are living longer for a number of reasons, partly because our medical care is better so we don’t die of particularly acute conditions like heart disease as frequently and also cancer.” Part of the proof can be seen in faster recoveries from heart attacks, strokes and hip fractures, concludes Cutler. “Because care is so much better and recovery is so much better, people don’t have the disability associated with those conditions that they used to have.” He warns obesity is still a force to be reckoned with, but one that so far has not erased the gains made by declines in smoking and cancer.