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Study finds key to living over 90 could be moderate alcohol or coffee consumption

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV)- A study of over 1,800 people living past the age of 90 has found the key to a long life could be alcohol and coffee.

Dubbed 'The 90+ Study,' principal researchers from the University of Louisville and University of California examined surveys filled out by members of a 14,000-person retirement community. They then recruited over 1,800 participants and launched their study in 2003.

Participants in the study are visited every six months and undergo neurological and neuropsychological testing.

Participants also provided DNA, information about their diet, activities, medical history, medications, and other factors.

What researchers found was people who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who did not. Researchers also found a little flab goes a long way. People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than people who were at normal weight or underweight.

In a 2007 research paper using the same participants, researchers say those who drank two or more drinks each day had a 15% reduced risk of death, regardless of what type of alcohol was consumed.

During the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meetings this month, researcher Claudia Kawas said the sweet spot for caffeine intake was 200-400 milligrams per day.

Exercising as little as 15 minutes each day also added to longevity, with the best being 45 minutes of total exercise throughout the day.

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However, not all the findings were good. Over 40 percent of people over the age of 90 suffer from dementia while nearly 80 percent were disabled. Half of the people with dementia over 90 also showed no clear disease indicators to explain their dementia.

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