When it comes to brain power, 90 may be the new 80.
People born in 1915 were almost a third more likely to reach 95 than those born a decade earlier and on average they performed better on mental tests and in daily living tasks, according to a study published Thursday in The Lancet.
The findings are the latest in a small but growing body of evidence that suggest improved nutrition, vaccinations, health care and intellectual stimulation are leading to a better quality of life for the elderly. Among the most intriguing findings of the Danish study is the notion that, should the trend continue, the care needs of very elderly people may be less than now anticipated.
'There’s a fear that getting older means many years of living in bad shape with a rather gloomy outlook', Kaare Christensen, the lead study researcher from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark, said in an interview. 'I’m looking forward to living longer than 90 myself after this study'.
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