# life

Why do some places have more people who live extremely long lives? Conventional wisdom says a slower pace of life, daily physical activity, plant-based diets, and tight communities will do it. That is to say, the lifestyle of places like Okinawa and Sardinia. A new study calls that into question.

Okinawa and Sardinia both have relatively high crime and poverty and relatively low life expectancy. So how could they possibly yield many exceptionally geriatric citizens? The study’s authors look at records in these regions and found evidence of widespread fraud, suggesting that people in these areas might be pretending to be older than they really are — or pretending to be another (older) person — to collect a pension. Mediterranean diet? It might be Mediterraneans lying.

In other areas, like some parts of the USA, super-old age correlates with poor record keeping, suggesting that it’s actually a phenomenon of misremembering.

© Sam Littlefair, 2023