The age old question: how long will I live

The age old question: how long will I live

This past May numerous local and international news outlets reported the death of a Central Javanese man who claimed to be 146 years old, the longest living human ever.

He was taken to hospital on April 12 because of deteriorating health. Six days later he insisted on checking out to return home only to die soon after.

According to his papers, Sodimedjo, also known as Mbah Ghoto (grandpa Ghoto), was born in December 1870. But Indonesia only started recording births in 1900 and there have been mistakes in the past. Yet officials said his papers were valid, based on documents he provided and interviews with him.

When asked about the secret of his longevity, Mbah Ghoto said patience was key and that he had “a long life because I have people that love me looking after me.” A heavy smoker until the end, he outlived four wives, 10 siblings and all his children.

If independently verified, his age would make Grandpa Ghoto older than French centenarian Jeanne Calment, who was 122 when she died, and is considered the longest living human in recorded history.

Unfortunately for many Indonesians Grandpa Ghoto is an exception by a long shot.  According to WHO data life expectancy, Indonesian males live to an average age of 67.1 years while Indonesian females live to an average age of 71.2 years and total life expectancy is 69.1 years, which gives Indonesia a World Life Expectancy ranking of 117. The good news is that along with better diets and greater overall healthcare and fitness trends, Indonesians are living longer and healthier lives.

Longevity Tip: Eat fewer calories, but more food

When nutrition researchers invited themselves over for dinner in kitchens across the globe — from Greece to Japan to the state of Pennsylvania — they discovered a tummy-satisfying secret to good health: Pile your plate high with vegetables and fruits, add respectable portions of beans and whole grains, and downplay high-calorie fare like cheeseburgers, cream sauces, and fatty meats.

The result: Fewer calories, more health-boosting antioxidants, and longer, happier, more active and independent lives.

Why? As an example, “people on Okinawa, a Japanese island where there are more centenarians than anywhere else on the planet, eat more food by weight than people who eat a Western-style diet,” says Bradley Willcox, MD, of the Pacific Health Research Institute in Honolulu and lead researcher of the Okinawa Longevity Study. “They eat a lot of produce and grains and smaller portions of higher-calorie, higher-fat foods. It’s the combination of high nutrition and lower calories that gives them a tremendous health advantage: Their risk for dementia, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer are among the lowest in the world.”

How? Calorie restriction isn’t easy. You have to eat 25 to 40 percent less than usual. The more you cut, the better, but 25 percent is a good goal. So if you usually consume 1,800 calories a day, you’d have to drop to at least 1,350. The diet is low-sugar and low fat, and the foods you eat must be nutritional powerhouses. A typical dinner: two ounces of salmon, one broccoli spear and a cup of whole-wheat spaghetti topped with five sun-dried tomatoes, three shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce.

Longevity Tip: Get your health regularly checked.

The benefits of a regular medical check are well known. BIMC Hospital has established health assessment programs as a comprehensive examination, which will be an important factor for early detection of a specific disease or as a baseline examination for further check-ups. Ask us about getting a physical assessment that includes blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation; weight and height (Body Mass Index), waist circumference, ECG; Chest X-Ray (Thorax PA/Lat), Stool and urine analysis.

BIMC offers complete blood works:

Complete blood count (CBC: Hemoglobin, Leukocyte, Erythrocyte, Platelet, Hematocrite, ESR, Differential count)
Liver function test (ALT, AST, Alkali Phosphates, Gamma GT, Bilirubin T/D)
Kidney function test (Blood Urea N, Creatinine serum)
Thyroid function test (TSHS)
Fasting blood sugar (Fasting Glucose)
Total lipid profile (Total Cholesterol, Triglyceride, HDL, LDL)
Screening for gout (Uric Acid)

Assessment will take approximately 2-3 hours
Call for an appointment and remember to refrain from eating 10 hours prior appointment time (only drink plain water). The attending doctor with consider other additional investigations or tests in accordance with the initial examination, test results and previous medical history

Optional Investigations and Tests

In addition to all items listed above, optional tests are available such as:

Blood Group and Rhesus
TORCH
Pregnancy test
Hepatitis B and C screening (HBs Ag, Anti HBs Ag, Anti HCV)
General Cancer Screening (Occult blood, AFP)
Cancer Screening for Women (CA125*, Pap Smear)
Cancer Screening for Men (PSA**)
Sexual Transmitted Disease Screening (VDRL, TPHA, Anti HIV)
Salmonella typhii screening for food handlers (Stool Culture)
Abdominal Ultrasound (Lower and Upper)
Treadmill (>40 Years old)
Lung Function Test (Spirometri)
Mammogram (recommended for women > 40 years old)
Breast Ultrasound (recommended for men > 40 years old)

 

Health-e reporting with sources: BIMC; RD; BBC; World Life Expectancy
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BIMC Hospital Nusa Dua
The first hospital in Indonesia with accreditation from Australian Council on Healthcare Standard International  (ACHSI)

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