Nicoya is a world showcase for the longevity of its inhabitants

Nicoya, Guanacaste. What makes that in some areas of the world its inhabitants exceed 100 years with a quality of life, health and incredible lucidity?

The answer is complicated. Therefore, demographers, scientists, long-lived people and cultural researchers are located in the Nicoya peninsula, one of the five "blue zones" worldwide, where reaching long-lived ages with a high quality of life is easier than in the rest of the world. planet.

Scientific debates, exhibitions, conversations with people over 100 years old and cultural presentations are part of the event, which began on Thursday morning and will end on Saturday night.

"Of the blue areas of the world, Nicoya has the greatest territorial extension, people live in a simple way, united with their families and with a diet rich in natural foods," said Dr. Michele Poulain, a Belgian demographer. He was the first to coin the word "Blue Zone" to refer to these sites.

The inhabitants of five cantons of the Nicoya peninsula (Carrillo, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Hojancha and Nandayure) share this title with the island of Sardinia, in Italy; that of Okinawa, in Japan; Loma Linda, in California (United States), and Ikaría, in Greece.

What do they have in common? In these places, exceeding 90 years is common. People who reach these ages have a good diet, physical activity, a strong relationship with family and friends, a life project and a lot of spirituality.

"When I discovered that the island of Sardinia (Italy) was a focus of longevity, I took the first thing I found nearby, a blue ballpoint pen, and enclosed it in a circle, it was a joy not to have a red pen, at this time we would be in a red zone, "Poulain commented in a laugh.
National study

An investigation by the Central American Population Center of the University of Costa Rica made in 2004 by the demographer Luis Rosero Bixby found that in the Costa Rican blue zone the mortality of those over 90 is 10% lower than in the rest of the country , and that mortality from cancer is 23% less.

In addition, when a man in this area reaches 80 years of age, he can live an average of 8.2 years more. And if he reaches 90, he can live an average of 4.4 years more.

On the other hand, if a man in Japan reaches the age of 80, he will live an average of 7.5 years more, and if he turns 90, he will have an average of 3.8 years of life.

"In the Nicoya Peninsula, this is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, it is not only genetic because we saw that people born in these cantons and then migrate do not have these characteristics of longevity, nor is it just environmental because those who arrive these places from other areas do not have these long-lived characteristics, "Rosero said on Thursday morning in his presentation.

The meeting that takes place in Nicoya, will be used to also sign a commitment that allows generating public policies and sufficient health services to ensure the longevity of those who live in this area.

Source: La Nacion

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