More long-livers registered

Around 20,000 aged over 90 live in Belarus, in addition to over 500 in their second century

By Anastasia Yanusheva

The Health Ministry’s Main Therapist, Vadim Sushinsky, asserts that rising life expectancy is a recent trend. In the early 20th century, this stood at just 45years in Belarus and Russia; it now exceeds 70 years in Belarus (64.8 for men and 76.6 for women).

The Deputy Head Doctor of the Republican Centre for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health, Lyudmila Naroichik (also chief of preventative medicine and healthy living at the Health Ministry), emphasises that those who eat significant amounts of fruit, vegetables and fish, while refraining from smoking or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and exercising regularly are 65 percent more likely to live to 90 (in comparison to the average). Those who take regular exercise are 37 percent more likely to live to 90, those who refrain from smoking are 35 percent more likely to reach nine decades and those who eat healthily raise their chances by 23 percent. Those who consume alcohol in moderation raise their likelihood of reaching 90 by 22 percent.

Of course, some people have a genetic disposition towards a long life but a low-calorie diet incorporating dairy products can help. “A desire to socialise and a love for life are vital factors; those who live long tend to be calm, kind, optimistic and moderate in all they do. This gives them a ‘psychological shield’ against ageing and death,” smiles Ms. Naroichik, adding that an active public life also helps.

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