Can You Pass the Longevity Test?

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN

No one can predict with certainty how long you’ll live, but there are certain factors that may provide an indication.

In fact, your ability to smell may actually give a hint, according to the results of a new study.

Researchers found that older people with an impaired sense of smell were more likely to die within a five-year period.

The results were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Longevity Linked to Sense of Smell

Scientists conducted a test on 3,005 participants between the ages of 57 and 85. They were asked to identify five different scents.

The subjects who had an impaired sense of smell were four times more likely to die within a certain period of time than those whose sense of smell functioned normally.

Having a poor sense of smell was a stronger risk factor for death than heart failure, lung disease, and cancer.1

Although having a healthy sense of smell isn’t fundamental to survival, lacking one has been linked to other health problems including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It has also been associated with telomere-shortening, a marker for aging.1

Longevity Linked to Standing Up

Apart from the olfactory test, other tests may provide clues about one’s longevity.

A study published in 2012 found that older people who were able to stand up easily from a sitting position on the floor lived longer within a six-year period. And those who had the most difficulty were 5-6 times more likely to die.2

Other tests measuring hand grip strength, walking speed, and balance provide further clues. While these studies have their limitations, they emphasize the importance of physical fitness.

General Longevity Tips

We can’t control all of the circumstances that impact our life span, but we can do something about our lifestyle choices. There are certain habits that can add or take away from your years. The following habits are linked to longevity:

In addition to living a healthy lifestyle, you can boost your natural defenses against aging with supplementation. Reducing oxidative stress and inflammation may help to prevent disease. Take special note of these anti-aging nutrients:

  • CoQ10 
  • PQQ  
  • Fish oil 
  • Resveratrol 
  • Curcumin 
  • Vitamin D 
  • L-carnitine 
  • Green tea

References:

  1. Available at: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0107541. Accessed October 2, 2014. 
  2. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Dec 13;21(7):892-898.

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