Having strong ties with friends and family helps people live longer

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London, May 15 (ANI): Having a close-knit group of family and friends has more bearing on a person's lifespan than genetics, a study has revealed.

The study involved the participation of 188 centenarians, several common factors emerged amongst this select group as most saw themselves as sociable, open-minded and optimistic. They also had very strong family-ties.

Researcher Robyn Richmond said genetics accounts for just 20 to 30 per cent of a person's chances of living to 100, meaning personality and lifestyle have a major impact, the Daily Mail reports.

'Social contact with family and friends is very important,' she said. 'Centenarians have built up strong solid relationships, seeing family, friends and neighbours regularly.

'If they don't have children, if they have very strong connections with their friends or if they are living in a nursing home that gets them doing interesting things with others who live there, they are more likely to live to 100.'

These folks have witnessed some major upheavals in their lives and are thus more open-minded, amenable to change and less hostile. Such a positive frame of mind is another feature of those who cross the coveted 100-year mark.

As far as lifestyle and habits are concerned, most of the centenarians did not smoke (barring two), and most consumed alcohol in moderation.

'Half have a drink each day but none a risky level of alcohol consumption,' says Professor Richmond, of New South Wales University in Sydney, which led the survey.

'It means even if you have got bad genes but you live a healthy life and stay positive, you could still have a very long life,' he adds summing it up. (ANI)

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