Longevity In The Modern World

 In Health, pensioners

I note a lot of people showing overly concern about longevity in the modern world. It’s as if they are embarrassed about dying too early, that it looks bad for the family. I understand that. A short life is an indicator for being working class. For instance, when my wife went for her health check, she was asked if her mother smoked. A ‘yes’ meant Ann was reduced to a 7 from 10. That reduction ignored her low weight and the fact that she can run uphill! It’s also laughable as her smoker mother still hung on into her 90’s. My mother was a heavy smoker and had a Woodbine cough. Once that started it then went on for about five minutes. She stopped smoking but still died early, at 54 years. What does that say about me as I look to 77 for my next birthday?

Unreal reality

A lot of people are currently being interviewed about the cost of living crisis. One woman, albeit in the US, said that she had not eaten for 2 days. Her apparent weight suggested that 3 or more days earlier she had been on banquets! Everywhere I look, I see overindulged bodies. How do we relate longevity with weight? Obesity is natures perfect body storm for a short life. Perhaps that means we should reconsider longevity. It’s not how long we live rather than how well we live that matters. If you enjoy food or alcohol and hate exercise then it is recipe for reduced longevity. It itself that is no problem provided it is understood that you may die earlier.

The medics

What does upset me is when too much emphasis is given to the NHS somehow failing us when longevity reduces. For certain longevity is going to shorten in the near future. Covid and diabetes are bedfellows in this. The increase in longevity, every decade since the 1960’s is going to reverse. Women, the possessors of the most efficient bodies, now have the highest weight problem and the least exercise. Men, once the heaviest smokers and drinkers, have reduced their dalliance with these killers. The impact of recreational drugs is perhaps the elephant in the room.

Longevity in the modern world

Longevity is a trend and it takes years to identify. Quality of life is what really matters but what is that? For most of us it is finding a stress free way to get by day by day. I know what that means because I was once in poverty. Constant worry about finances, rummage sale clothes and perhaps too little to eat were all forms of stress. A soon as a began work that eased. Getting out into the hills then gave me an interest that, for much of the time, subsumed all the dross. Will that keep me going into really old age? I could say that I don’t care but that ignores Ann. When I die, half of my pension goes with me. Far worse than that, who would entertain her the way I do? I prefer not to answer that.

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