Coffee, cigars, sex ‘behind longevity’

From correspondents in Havana

NEWS.com.au

October 05, 2006 04:33am

Article from: Agence France-Presse

CUBA’S high number of centenarians said their longevity is a result of going easy on alcohol, but indulging in coffee, cigars and sex, according to a survey released today.

Cuba, with a population of 11.2 million, has about 3000 people who have lived more than a century. A study was carried out of 54 of the more than 100 centenarians who live in Santa Clara province, which has Cuba’s highest average age, by Professor Nancy Nepomucemo.

The results were reported to the National Geriatrics and Social Work workshop, according to the newspaper Juventud Rebelde. Their lives are disciplined, the study found, yet not austere – none was alcoholic, and they expressed a love for coffee and cigars. They maintained a strong interest in their sex lives and other topics, the study said.

Most of the super-seniors were mentally alert, do manual labour in rural areas, and 60 per cent said their parents also were long-lived.

Ninety-five per cent ate a diet including fish, eggs, milk, white meat, vegetables, and manioc, which they cook with little salt and natural seasonings.