The life expectancy and mortality when living at higher altitude above 1500 meters were discussed in a new review, published in the last edition of
Aging Dis. Aug 2014; 5(4): 274–280, by Austrian scientists.
The researchers found that the altitude climate may contribute to the lowering of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular overall mortality, but with disease in progressed phase, living at high altitude may become detrimental.
It has been known from other studies that low barometric pressure, partial pressure of oxygen (hypoxia) and increased ultra violet radiation as components of the high altitude climate probably interacted in a complex way with genes and other environmental factors by unknown mechanisms. The high altitude often showed protective effects on cardiovascular diseases, beneficial effects on mortality from some types of cancer and harmful effects on chronic pulmonary disease. The coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction are uncommon among residents living in Andes. Mortality in New Mexico was 72% at the highest locations compared to the group below 1220 m, predominantly in males. Other study had confirmed the negative relationship between altitude and mortality in the highest 99 out of 100 largest cities of the United States up to an altitude of 1650 m. Studies from Switzerland showed that the mortality rates (after adjustment) decreased for coronary heart disease by 22% and that for stroke by 12% per 1000 m increase of altitude. In this new study the reduction of mortality from coronary heart disease, but not from stroke, was more consistent in women than in men.
There are very few results in the cited literature, showing increasing overall mortality from altitudes between 1500 to 2900m and more than 3000m, eventually due to the differences in ethnicity, behavioural aspects, or medical care.
The authors proposed also possible explanations: Studies consistently showed a linear dose-response relation between the fitness level and mortality. Because physical activity and fitness are increased at higher altitudes this might well explain part of the lower mortality observed. In contrast, when diseases progress, cardiorespiratory systems may be rapidly overstrained even during light physical activities, thereby increasing the mortality risk.
The effect of moderate hypoxia stimulus at altitudes up to 2500 m was suggested before as a potential contributor to the cardiovascular health. Adaptation effects might partly explain the lower systemic systolic and diastolic blood pressures and lower atherogenic lipoprotein cholesterol (C-LDL) in residents of higher compared to lower regions. Effects of this type of intermittent hypoxia (exercising in conditions of low oxygen) include cardioprotection, vasoprotection, neuroprotection, and antistress defines. It was demonstrated recently in other study that prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, systemic hypertension, diabetes, frequency of mental stress and occurrence of memory deficits declined in regular downhill skiing with increasing yearly skiing frequency in Alps region. There were published results, cited by the authors, showing that the risk of sudden cardiac death decreased steeply after sleeping only one night at higher than 700 m elevations!
Decreasing air pollution with increasing altitude might represent another potentially contributing factor to the reduction of mortality from Coronary heart D. Levels of ultraviolet radiation increased by about 10% with every 300 m increase in altitude and might also profoundly influence cardiovascular mortality. Protective effects of ultraviolet radiation were mediated by the higher concentrations of Vitamin D.
The all available data, concluded the authors, indicated that residency at higher altitudes was associated with lower mortality from cardiovascular diseases, stroke and certain types of cancer. In contrast mortality from obstructive pulmonary COPD and probably also from lower respiratory tract infections was rather elevated. The authors proposed that whereas living at higher elevations may frequently protect from development of diseases, it could adversely affect mortality when diseases progress.
What a pleasure, my friends, regular downhill skiing every winter and when one day man is too old for skiing (and too scared from sudden death), then going to sleep just for a night at higher altitudes could save him again!!! Welcome longevity!!!
Another study on 42,807 athletes, analysed the mortality in elite athletes, article published in
Mayo Clin Proc. 2014 Aug 6. pii: S0025-6196(14)00519-9.
The researchers found that elite athletes live longer than the general population and have a lower risk of major causes of mortality, namely, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Standard all cause mortality ratio from this study was 0.67, mortality ratio from cardiovascular disease was 0.73 and from cancer was 0,60.
Authors’ CONCLUSION: The evidence available indicated that top-level athletes lived longer than the general population.
In another new study, published in journal
Circulation, 2014 Aug 14; pii: CIRCULATIONAHA.114.011590,
the researchers investigated the associations of circulating omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 PUFA), including linoleic acid(LA), gamma-linoleic acid(GLA), dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid(DGLA), and arachidonic acid(AA), with total and cause-specific mortality in a new cardiovascular health study with 2,792 participants (age>/=65y), participants free from cardiovascular diseases. While omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 PUFA) have been recommended to reduce coronary heart disease, controversy remains about benefits vs. harms of pro-inflammatory effects of n-6 PUFA.
During the follow-up (1992-2010), higher linoleic acid LA was associated with lower total mortality, whereas circulating GLA, DGLA, and AA were not significantly associated with total or cause-specific mortality. Evaluating both n-6 and n-3 PUFA, lowest risk was evident with highest levels of both. The authors concluded that high circulating linoleic acid LA, but not other n-6 PUFA, was inversely associated with total and coronary heart disease mortality in older adults.
And now after the good news, guys, the bad news:
A new study, published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology, an update for 2014 on the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and in particular coronary heart disease and stroke, across the countries of Europe, was published in
Eur Heart J. 2014 Aug 19. pii: ehu299.
Cardiovascular disease causes more deaths among Europeans than any other condition, and in many countries still causes more than twice as many deaths as cancer. The differing recent trends in diminishing cardio vascular mortality have therefore led to increasing inequalities in the burden of cardiovascular diseases between countries, especially for some Eastern European countries, including Russia and Ukraine, where the mortality rate for coronary heart disease for 55-60 year olds is greater than that in France for people 20 years older. The analyses show that cancer is already causing more deaths than cardiovascular disease in men in ten countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and San Marino. In Denmark cancer deaths have overtaken cardiovascular disease in women.
Another large European cohort study followed for 12.6 years, 380 395 healthy at enrolment men and women, in order to investigate the association between alcohol and mortality, published in
BMJ Open. 2014 Jul 3;4(7):e005245. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005245, entitled
“Lifetime alcohol use and overall and cause-specific mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition study”.
Lifetime alcohol use was assessed at recruitment. The rates HR comparing extreme drinkers (more than 30 g/day in women 60 g/day in men) to moderate drinkers (0.1-4.9 g/day) were 1.27 in women and 1.53 in men. Strong associations were observed for alcohol-related cancers mortality, in men particularly, and for violent deaths and injuries, in men only. No associations were observed for cardiovascular diseases/coronary heart disease mortality among drinkers. Overall mortality seemed to be more strongly related to beer than wine use, particularly in men. The 10-year risks of overall death for women aged 60 years, drinking more than 30 g/day was 5% and 7%, (for nonsmokers or smokers, resp.), whether in men consuming more than 60 g/day, risks were 11% and 18%, depending if smokers.
Authors’ CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol is an important determinant of total mortality.
Alcohol use was positively associated with overall mortality, alcohol-related cancers and violent death and injuries, but marginally to cardiovascular diseases/coronary heart disease mortality.
We have much work to do, friends, especially in some countries in Eastern Europe in order to increase the average life expectancy in Europe!
Fortunately, as I said a year ago (on the SENS conference 2013), we are going to invent very soon an easy way to extend radically our lifespan! Then we could endlessly drink, smoke and misbehave, if we like it, leaving the exercise, sport and healthy habits, (and skiing downhill in the beautiful Alps) to the professionals…
Don’t you loose hope, guys, the SENS Conference 2014 Started, follow on the web the new exciting discoveries in rejuvenation and radical life extension!!!