Middle-age men who are not overweight, do not smoke cigarettes, and who have low blood pressure and low sugar levels have the best chance of aging well. Beyond the biological effects of aging, much of the illness and disability in the elderly is related to risk factors present at midlife.
The authors report that the most consistent predictors of healthy aging were low blood pressure, low serum glucose, not smoking cigarettes, and not being obese. There is now overwhelming evidence that the majority of the health problems of the elderly can be traced back to risk factors that are present in middle age. The four "common denominators" for staying healthy identified in this study -- low blood pressure and low serum glucose, not smoking and maintaining a normal weight -- are largely modifiable,.
American Journal of Public Health 1998;88:1463-1468.
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
Isn’t it interesting that all four factors are related to excess carbohydrate ingestion. The first three are obvious, the last one not so. However, if one consumes large amounts of grain carbohydrates (Potatoes Not Prozac book), then one is more predisposed to depression which increases one’s likelihood of smoking.