Living to 100 Book

Living to 100: Lessons in Living to Your Maximum Potential At Any Age

Dr. Tom Perls, Dr. Margery H. Silver, with John Lauerman


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Centenarians, once considered a rarity, are the world’s fastest growing age group. There are currently about 50,000 people over 100 in the United States alone, almost three times as many as there were in 1980. What can we learn from these pioneers? How can people decades younger apply the centenarians longevity lessons to their own lives? These are the questions Harvard scientists Thomas Perls and Margery Hutter Silver set out to answer when they launched the New England Centenarian Study (NECS).

The authors have studied more than one hundred centenarians, interviewing them in their homes, scrutinizing their family trees, assessing their physical and mental health. Now the results of the NECS — widely hailed in the scientific and medical press — are available for the first time to readers everywhere.

As they probed beyond disease to identify the parameters of an energetic later life, Perls and Silver realized that the key to preserving health and vitality lies not in learning how people stay young, but in understanding how they age well. By identifying lifestyle patterns, vitamins, and medications that contribute to aging well — and may even slow down the aging process — they show how all of us can maximize the healthy portion of the lifespan. A sample of their groundbreaking, longevity-boosting news:

In contrast to reports in the popular press, genes do matter — but each of us can develop specific ways of taking advantage of the genes most of us have and compensating for those we lack.

Growing evidence suggests that learning new skills can actually renew or extend the life of brain cells.

Within everyone’s reach: the stress-resisting mindset known as the Centenarian Personality.

Filled with personal profiles, informational sidebars, and quizzes, including a Life Expectancy Calculator, Living to 100 offers inspiration and solid scientific information to the more than 75 million people alive today who can look forward to their ninth and tenth decades.

Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine