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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2008 Mar-Apr;46(2):253-61. Epub 2007 Jun 4.

Physical performance and creative activities of centenarians.

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  • 1Gerontology and Geriatrics Unit, Department of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini 6, I-50139 Florence, Italy.


The human functional autonomy is reduced progressively with advancing age, although a considerable proportion of the centenarians maintain a good level of autosufficiency for the basic performance of the everyday life. Even if males have a lower probability to reach the centenarian age than females do, the male centenarians display generally better functional conditions than the females. Actually, there are no systemic studies on centenarian works or activities; nevertheless, the examples of several representative persons (artists, scientists, explorers, etc.) who remained active even after this age indicate that such a possibility is realistic, and that the maintenance of vital interest and passions, thus preserving competence and professional attitudes, is not in conflict with the reaching of extreme longevity.

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