In a study spanning 50 years, Swedish researchers have followed the health of 855 men born in 1913 and have come to conclusions about how to live a long and healthy life.
The subjects – ten of whom lived to see their 100th birthdays – were surveyed at the ages of 54, 60, 65, 75, 80 and 100, and Lars Wilhelmsen – who has been involved in the study for the past 50 years – revealed some bad news for smokers and coffee-lovers.
"Our recommendation for people who aspire to centenarianism is to refrain from smoking, maintain healthy cholesterol levels and confine themselves to four cups of coffee a day," he said.
But turning down cigarettes and that fifth cup of coffee obviously won't guarantee you'll be kicking it into triple-digits.
The researchers revealed that maternal longevity – rather than paternal – is an important contributing factor.
"Our findings that there is a correlation with maternal but not paternal longevity are fully consistent with previous studies," said Dr Wilhelmsen.
But genetic links are weaker than other factors, and lifestyle choices are more important for those aiming to stay at the crease for their century.
Two centenarians dropped out of the study due to dementia, and another for unnamed reasons.
However, of the other seven, the study revealed that none of them smoked, and while they all used walkers, they demonstrated good temporal and spatial cognition.
According to the study, most wore glasses but were able to read and watch TV, and all were trim and had good posture.
Of the entire sample group, 232 men lived to celebrate their 80th birthdays, while 111 rang in their 90th.
Of the deaths that occurred after participants reached the age of 80, cardiovascular disease was to blame in 42 percent of the cases, while 20 percent of deaths were caused by infectious diseases, eight percent by stroke, eight percent by cancer, six percent to pneumonia and 16 percent to unnamed causes.