A team of geriatric doctors carried out research on the health conditions and protective factors of 43 centenarians living in Guanacaste. These people are part of the Blue Zone -one of the four in the world- distributed between Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Nandayure, Hojancha, and Carrillo.
Fernando Morales, director of the medical center, said that what they wanted to know the secrets of these people, because the results will give a route that younger generations should follow to maintain good health and long life.
The study involved 18 men and 25 women with an average age of 101 years. Some of them there were even above the average, with 105 years old or more.
Marielos Solís, a geriatrician who participated in the research, said that some of the protective aspects is the amount of sleep, since they reported that they slept between 8 and 10 hours a day. Another aspect that drew attention, is that people had controlled levels of glycemia (sugar) because only four of them had diabetes. They also have good lipid control.
Having sugar and lipids within normal limits is the secret,”
Japan, Italy, Greece, California and Guanacaste are the other places in the world with blue zones, but at a national level, there are about 660 centenarians, distributed in different geographical areas.
Fabián Madrigal, geriatric doctor, explained that it took four years to establish the protocol for the investigation. The majority of women had six or more children and were engaged in domestic work at young ages, while men performed hard work.
The study allowed to determine that cataracts, hypertension, and constipation are the health problems that most afflict them.
Dr. Morales said that one aspect they seek to emphasize is that family integration is a fundamental pillar for good health. Unlike the centenarians of other countries, in Costa Rica only two live in nursing homes.