Through no fault of his own, Tony’s Monday Moan has become a Tuesday Moan all about longevity (and Dr. Michael Mosley!) …
A belated Happy Easter from Mr Moan.
My message to you all is about how long you can expect to live.
Here is a definition of ‘longevity’
Longevity is best thought of as a term for general audiences meaning ‘typical length of life’ and specific statistical definitions should be clarified when necessary.
Patient to doctor: “Doctor, am I going to die?”
Doctor to patient: “Yes. You are asking me, when?”
Put these five countries in order of longevity (longest first):
UK, Tonga, Italy, Japan, Albania.
Sorry, Mr Moan wins again: you are completely wrong.
Answer: Japan (83.7 years), Italy (82.7), UK (81.2), Albania (77.8) and Tonga (73.5).
Only 42% of marriages last more than ten years. In 25% of divorces the major issue is custody of the family pet(s). Solicitors now recommend ‘pet nups’ for intending partners.
Longevity is not good for you. This is because the NHS has been so successful at lengthening our lives that whereas, previously, geriatric care referred to mainly seventy-year-olds, it now means eighty-year-olds. The problem is that caring for the elder group is much more demanding (failing bones, hearts, brains and so on). That is why senior care patients are packing our hospitals.
Dr. Michael Mosley
Time to introduce you to Dr Michael Mosley who, I think, is bonkers. In a Sunday newspaper he introduced a method to calculate your personal longevity. 1. Find a friend. 2. Give that friend a stopwatch. 3. Take off your shoes. 4. Find some nice grass (the grass associated with a garden). 5. Put your hands on your hips. 6. Stand on one leg. 7. Close your eyes. 8. Ask your friend to time you before you lose your balance. 8. Repeat the test two more times and calculate the average time you were able to stand on one leg.
Once you have a reading compare it to averages resulting from clinical trials. So, aged 60 – 69, eyes open, 32 seconds, eyes closed, 4 seconds. If you are below those averages in that age group, you are more likely to die early.
As I suggested, the good doctor is off his rocker. However, the amount of news print space given to health and longevity suggests that we, the readers, consider it an important news item.
“I’m most proud of the longevity of my marriage, my kids and my grandchildren. If you don’t have that, you really don’t have very much.”
Be Fit or Be Damned!
Here is my Easter present to you.
It is, in my opinion, the best ever book written about human longevity.
‘Be Fit! Or Be Damned’ by Percy Cerutty (Pelham Books:1967) is the global best-seller written by the man who coached Herb Elliott, who won the gold medal for the 1,500 metres at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Percy Cerutty, who was based at Portsea on the Queensland coast, writes about achieving physical perfection to ensure your maximum age after himself experiencing middle-aged illness. He writes at the end of his book:
Those who have arrested the onslaught of agedness will not only ‘feel’ young, but will ‘look’ much younger than their actual years. There is no better survival factor than a young heart, a lower than normal pulse rate and blood pressure, a keen mind, and a genuine interest in the world around us.
Percy Cerutty died at the age of 81: he simply passed away.
Here’s some more boring information:
Longevity and DNA
The word “longevity” is sometimes used as a synonym for “life expectancy” in demography. However, the term longevity is sometimes meant to refer only to especially long-lived members of a population, whereas life expectancy is always defined statistically as the average number of years remaining at a given age.
Finally, Mr Moan reveals the truth. Longevity/life expectancy is all about your DNA.
DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, and is contained in your body’s cells. It is a double, long chain of molecules called nucleotides that tell each cell what proteins to make. The DNA itself makes up chromosomes.
Yes, I know you knew that. In Mr Moan’s language, your life expectancy is, to some extent, pre-determined by your parental DNA influence.
Give Me The Pills!
When I worked in the City (of London) my company sent me for a medical every year and it was agony. This meant two hours of blood samples, tests, fingers in strange places and so on! And all this from some whizz-kid doctor who looked as though he could run ten marathons at one go. Then the denouement:
Mr. Drury. You are two stones over-weight, you have high blood pressure, you drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol, you have a sedentary work-style, you are stressed and I find that your casual attitude to your health a matter of concern.
Did I respond?
- You are right, doctor, I am a disgrace. I will change my attitude
- Thank you doctor. Just give me the pills
- Do you want to know the amount I owe on credit cards?
What I actually said was:
“My mother died at the age of 79 and my father at 81 and they suffered the second world war depredations together.”
Mr Moan 10, Doctor 0.
You should have seen the size of his invoice just for telling me off.
HAPPY EASTER ONE AND ALL!