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The Secret to Reaching 100

It isn't always healthful living

Many people who reach the 100-year mark have done so by defying conventional wisdom that says you shouldn't be overweight, drink a lot or smoke. As researchers try to discover the secret for living longer, they're finding that there is no one key to becoming a centenarian, reports this wire story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

What scientists do know is that many centenarians had another family member who was long-lived, that women who give birth after 40 are much more likely to live to 100, and that although more women live to 100 than men, men who reach 100 tend to be healthier.

Race and socioeconomic factors don't seem to play a large role, however, says the article.

But one thing's for sure -- there are more centenarians for researchers to study. More than 60,000 Americans today are older than 100, and by 2011 that number is expected to double, experts say.

Just don't expect to see the life expectancy of the average American jump to 100 any time soon. Americans can't expect to live that long until at least the 26th century, reports this HealthDay article.

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