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The 90+ Study – Age is Just a Number

90+ Study Auditorium

A captive audience of OLLI members

Researchers at the University of California Irvine (UCI) began the 90+ study in 2003 in an effort to study the oldest-old, currently the largest growing population in the United States. The study aimed to determine what allows an individual to live to age 90 and beyond; including what types of foods, activities or lifestyles are associated with living longer. The study included 1,600 participants who were previously contributors in a Leisure World Cohort Study in Orange County, California which had participants “fill out a basic health survey concerning their lifestyle, vitamin intake and leisure”.

These types of studies are of particular interest to Osher Institutes and their members as they reinforce our purpose of lifelong learning, not just for pleasure, but for increased health and longevity of one’s sound mind. Michael Stover, Past President of the Board of Trustees at the OLLI at CSU Fullerton noted, “Living to 90 is a characteristic of many of our members, in fact, just a month ago … we honored 23 members who reached the age of 90 and beyond.”

In 2015, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University Fullerton hosted a seminar to address the learnings from the 90+ study. More than 100 OLLI members attended the seminar as part of a series of 20 various medical sessions provided during the semester. During the presentation, Dania Greenia, RN, MS, a co-investigator of the 90+ study shared how “factors like green tea, calcium and vitamins C, A, and E are not associated with life longevity, but moderate alcohol, caffeine, exercise, leisure and a higher body mass index did in fact correlate with the participants’ longevity.” This revelation brought understandable joy to many in the audience.
As these findings and our own OLLI members continually demonstrate – more and more, age is just a number and the medical field must advance in order to accommodate this new generation of these hearty and healthy individuals within the public health system.

See the UCI website for further details regarding the 90+ study: http://www.mind.uci.edu/research/90plus-study/

Read more about the presentation hosted by OLLI at CSU Fullerton here: http://www.dailytitan.com/2015/01/a-look-at-the-oldest-old/

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