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  #21  
Old 08-18-2009, 09:18 AM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/sc...ging.html?8dpc

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It may be the ultimate free lunch ó how to reap all the advantages of a calorically restricted diet, including freedom from disease and an extended healthy life span, without eating one fewer calorie. Just take a drug that tricks the body into thinking itís on such a diet.
This is an interesting idea.

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The leading candidates for such a role are drugs called sirtuin activators, which may well be mimicking caloric restriction, in whole or in part. The chief such drug is resveratrol, a minor ingredient of grapes and red wine. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, of Cambridge, Mass., is now conducting clinical trials of resveratrol, in a special formulation, and of small-molecule drugs that also activate sirtuin but can be given in much lower doses. The resveratrol formulation and one of the small chemicals have passed safety tests and are now being tested against diabetes and other diseases. The Food and Drug Administration does not approve drugs to delay aging, because aging in its view is not a disease.
The first part of the highlighted sentence seems weird, but together with the second part, sort of makes sense.
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  #22  
Old 08-18-2009, 09:29 AM
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If this is the case [that the FDA doesn't approve these drugs...which also means they don't disapprove them], does that mean these would be OTC when they came out?

How awesome is that.
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  #23  
Old 08-18-2009, 10:44 AM
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Maybe it would be considered a "food supplement." That would be OTC, and subject to really minimal reguation, at least as the rules are currently constituted.
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2009, 09:06 PM
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A life expectancy from birth story, with a little odd verbiage:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32477402/ns/health-aging/

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ATLANTA - U.S. life expectancy has risen to a new high, now standing at nearly 78 years, the government reported Wednesday.

The increase is due mainly to falling death rates in almost all the leading causes of death. The average life expectancy for babies born in 2007 is nearly three months greater than for children born in 2006.

The new U.S. data is a preliminary report based on about 90 percent of the death certificates collected in 2007. It comes from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

....
The United States continues to lag behind about 30 other countries in estimated life span. Japan has the longest life expectancy — 83 years for children born in 2007, according to the World Health Organization.

The CDC report found that the number of deaths and the overall death rate dropped from 2006 — to about 760 deaths per 100,000 people from about 776. The death rate has been falling for eight straight years, and is half of what it was 60 years ago.

Heart disease and cancer together are the cause of nearly half of U.S. fatalities. The death rate from heart disease dropped nearly 5 percent in 2007, and the cancer death rate fell nearly 2 percent, according to the report.
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  #25  
Old 08-21-2009, 12:34 PM
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http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon/...ut-what-is-it/

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In reading the news on Instapundit that life expectancy in the US has risen to nearly 78 years [Dude, where's my healthcare crisis?-ed. Never mind.]… I got to wondering where in the world is the longest life expectancy. Japan? Switzerland? Lo and behold, it’s Macao, where the average citizen makes it to 84.36 years and the average woman is pushing 90 (well, not quite… 87.47). Whoa… will they ever have a Social Security problem.

But here’s the big question – why Macao? Well, we do know their number one industry – gambling (and gambling related tourism):
....
Now… as we all know… where there’s gambling there’s tons of drinkin’ and smokin’. So there you have it. Everything is on its head. The solution to longevity is not what you think it is. [More casinos?-ed.] Think how much money this could save us on healthcare.
Of course, the thing is that it's non-Macaoans doing most of the drinking and smoking.

Still, it does make one wonder what's special about Macao.
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  #26  
Old 08-21-2009, 01:53 PM
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I heard on TV that there was a slight change in methodology that made the 2006 dip compared to 2005 but 2007 resumed upward path. Anyone know what this is about?
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  #27  
Old 08-24-2009, 03:15 PM
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http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon/...ut-what-is-it/



Of course, the thing is that it's non-Macaoans doing most of the drinking and smoking.

Still, it does make one wonder what's special about Macao.
Are you sure about that? Check out the mortality rate in Vegas. From my experience (and I probably have enough deaths from Vegas to almost be credible) LV has a much higher mortality rate than our company average.

When I lived there, there was talk of OSHA attempting to ban smoking in casinos in an attempt to protect workers.

But I would bet the smoking rate and drinking rate of Vegas residents exceeds the national average. But maybe in Macau it is different.
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  #28  
Old 08-24-2009, 03:24 PM
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My point is that the native Macauans are not necessarily the people doing all the smoking and drinking. That's all.

Yes, some may be exposed to smoke from working in the casino, or perhaps it's mainly guest workers doing that, and they go back to their home countries to die of lung or liver cancer. Heck if I know.
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  #29  
Old 09-09-2009, 06:26 PM
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Secrets of centenarians
http://www.newscientist.com/article/...html?full=true

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THIS year, the number of pensioners in the UK exceeded the number of minors for the first time in history. That's remarkable in its own right, but the real "population explosion" has been among the oldest of the old - the centenarians. In fact, this is the fastest-growing demographic in much of the developed world. In the UK, their numbers have increased by a factor of 60 since the early 20th century. And their ranks are set to swell even further, thanks to the ageing baby-boomer generation: by 2030 there will be about a million worldwide.
....
It is becoming clear that people who break through the 90-plus barrier represent a physical elite, markedly different from the elderly who typically die younger than them. Far from gaining a longer burden of disability, their extra years are often healthy ones. They have a remarkable ability to live through, delay or entirely escape a host of diseases that kill off most of their peers. Supercentenarians - people aged 110 or over - are even better examples of ageing gracefully. "As a demographic group, they basically didn't exist in the 1970s or 80s," says Craig Willcox of the Okinawa Centenarian Study in Japan. "They have some sort of genetic booster rocket and they seem to be functioning better for longer periods of time than centenarians." The average supercentenarian had freely gone about their daily life until the age of 105 or so, some five to 10 years longer even than centenarians, who are themselves the physical equivalent of people eight to 10 years their junior. This isn't just good news for the oldest old and for society in general; it also provides clues about how more of us might achieve a long and healthy old age.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:27 PM
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Here was an interesting sidebar in the above:
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Dying of old age

"There is one, and only one, cause of death at older ages. And that is old age." So said Leonard Hayflick, one of the most influential gerontologists of all time. But dying of old age isn't just a case of peacefully losing the will to live - it is an accumulation of diseases and injuries different to those that tend to kill people at younger ages.

For a start, the oldest old have very low rates of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and stroke. The trend is particularly apparent for cancer. The odds of developing it increase sharply as people age, but they fall from the age of 84, and plummet from 90 onwards. Only 4 per cent of centenarians die of cancer, compared with 40 per cent of people that die in their fifties and sixties.

Many centenarians even manage to ward off chronic diseases after indulging in a lifetime of serious health risks. Many people in the New England Centenarian Study experienced a century free of cancer or heart disease despite smoking as many as 60 cigarettes a day for 50 years. The same story applies to people from Japan's longevity hotspot, Okinawa, where around half of the local supercentenarians had a history of smoking and one-third were regular alcohol drinkers. These people may well have genes that protect them from the dangers of carcinogens or the random mutations that crop up naturally when cells divide.

So what does kill off the oldest old? Pneumonia is the biggest culprit, with other respiratory infections, accidents and intestinal problems trailing behind. "Dying of old age involves total systems failure," says Craig Willcox of the Okinawa Centenarian Study in Japan. "Centenarians avoid age-associated diseases, but you see a lot of systemic wear and tear. Almost all of them have had some problems with cataracts, they can't hear very well and have osteoarthritis. Our most recently deceased centenarian in Okinawa caught a cold and died in her sleep."
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