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Mr. Rationality, though, seems to have pulled it off. Most people over 65 have three or more chronic diseases, but he had only one â diabetes â until two months shy of 90, when he had a mild heart attack from which he has apparently recovered. My father maintains his checkbook and manages his medications, which have grown to three prescriptions instead of one. Though he uses a walker for balance, he isnât functionally disabled as long as he lives in an elevator building and has someone to run errands. (That would be me.)
Some of his compressed morbidity â and how compressed it turns out to be depends on the unknowable, his eventual life span â is probably his own doing. He never smoked, never drank, maintained a normal weight (though without vigorous exercise), kept his mind engaged. But he also owes his longevity and relative health to sheer luck, the genetic roll of the dice. - "Reaching 90 With Only Three Prescriptions," by Paula Span
The media normally wants you to freak out and worry. Rest easy: it's in your genes and your choices. Don't go in for lots of medical care; just take care of yourself.