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Successful Aging

Heredity

In general, most studies agree that successful aging is, for the most part, not determined by genetics (as many believe), but by lifestyle choices in diet, exercise, mental challenges, self-efficacy, and involvement with others. There is a popular saying, ‘‘If you want to live long, choose long-lived parents.’’ This saying, although humorous, oversimplifies the findings of studies of longevity among older persons. While it is true that genetics can cause inherited diseases such as sickle-cell anemia and hemophelia, these tend to take their toll early in life. If one survives to middle age, one probably has a healthy set of genes, and at that age the primary determinants of successful aging become the lifestyle, psychological, and social factors discussed above.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 4Successful Aging - Definitions, Causes, Avoiding Disease And Disability, Maintaining Mental Function, Engagement With Life, Heredity