Eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, stress management, and having a good social life have long been known to promote healthy aging. However, for the first time researchers have found that making positive lifestyle changes can actually lengthen telomeres—the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age.

The more you use your brain - and the more you enjoy doing it - the more likely you are to stay mentally sharp in your golden years, so suggest results of a study by researchers from Concordia University. Larry Baer and colleagues, analyzed data collected over 4-years from 333 recent retirees.

Observing that: "Recent scientific advances suggest that slowing the aging process (senescence) is now a realistic goal…yet most medical research remains focused on combating individual diseases," Dana Goldman, from the University of Southern California (USC; California, USA), and colleagues submit that research to delay aging and the infirmities of old age would have better population health and economic returns, as compared to advances in individual fatal diseases such as cancer and...

Previous research has demonstrated that unhealthy behaviors raise a person’s risks of obesity, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. Alexis Elbaz, from the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (France), and colleagues analyzed data collected in the French Three- City study, which enrolled community-living adults ages 65 and older in Dijon, Bordeaux, and Montpelier.

Adding to a growing body of evidence suggesting that volunteering may benefit mental health and longevity, Suzanne H. Richards, from the University of Exeter Medical School (United Kingdom), and colleagues analyzed data from 40 published papers and found that volunteers were at a 20 percent lower risk of death, as compared to non-volunteers.

The World Health Organization recommend that adults accumulate 150 minutes or more per week, of moderate-tovigorous physical activity, and Canadian researchers find that achieving a total of 150 weekly minutes of exercise, regardless of how often the activity was conducted, is key in minimizing risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Consuming a Mediterranean diet—rich in olive oil, nuts, as well as fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and limited amounts of dairy products, red meat, soda drinks, processed meats, and sweets— with added extra-virgin olive oil or mixed nuts, improves the brain power of older men and women at high vascular risk due to underlying diseases or conditions.

Mild cognitive impairment (cognitive decline that is more than normal for someone of a specific age) affects 10–25 percent of people over age 70. The annual rate of decline to dementia (which is cognitive decline in several areas along with some functional ability) is about 10 percent. With an aging population, it is estimated that the prevalence of dementia worldwide will escalate sharply.