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Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 1997 Apr;34(4):312-23.

[Longitudinal and comprehensive follow-up study of the oldest man in Japan].

[Article in Japanese]

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Research Center of Comprehensive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus.


The oldest man in Japan reached the age of 112 years in October 1996. As an Okinawan centenarians, he had been followed closely for the previous 12 years. One sister, 8 years younger, was alive at the start of the study; all other family members were killed in the Okinawan War, 1945. The man did agricultural work until age 85, after which he continued to be physically active and to pay close attention to his health. Results of medical examinations, including blood tests, remained within the normal limits, with a few exceptions. Some abnormalities were found on the electrocardiogram; the red blood cell count and the hemoglobin and hematocrit values decreased relatively slowly. His intake of nutrients was relatively well-balanced, and at the age of 100 his intake energy was 1361 kilocalories per day, which is close to the value recommended for centenarians. His personality was categorized as "Type A", but the pattern was typical of that seen in other Okinawan centenarians. He was able to perform almost activities of daily living until the age of 108. At that time he was admitted to the hospital and his ability to perform those activities decreased sharply. His scores on the revised version of the Hasegawa dementia scale was within the normal range when he was 106 years old, but 3 years later it was in the "dementia" range. The rapidity of the decreases in his mental status and in his ability to perform activities of daily living that occurred when he was admitted to the hospital indicate that, if circumstances permit, elderly men may benefit from living at home with their families. Close attention to diet and exercise from youth through senescence may also contribute to health and longevity.

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