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Centenarians a Happy Lot, Survey Says
Date:5/3/2013

egularly (86 percent vs. 77 percent), to get more than eight hours of sleep per night (66 percent vs. 54 percent), and to attend a social event every day (37 percent vs. 28 percent).

Only 31 percent of centenarians said that maintaining one's sex life is important for healthy aging, compared with 80 percent of the boomers. Centenarians were also less likely than the boomers to believe that it's very important to continue to look forward to each day (72 percent vs. 88 percent) and to maintain a sense of purpose (57 percent vs. 79 percent).

While 29 percent of centenarians said they expected to live to 100, only 21 percent of the boomers said they expect to reach the same milestone. But a good number of them might make that goal. The centenarian population in the United States is expected to grow to more than 600,000 by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"The centenarians in this year's 100@100 survey show that maintaining a positive outlook isn't all about focusing on what the future holds," Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, said in a company news release.

"Reflecting fondly and confidently on the choices they've made throughout their lives helps the longest-living Americans maintain a sense of satisfaction and well-being that's vital to healthy aging," she said.

Young adulthood was the most fondly remembered time in centenarians' lives (45 percent), despite challenges such as balancing the demands of work and family. The second most fondly remembered time in centenarians' lives was approaching their 100th birthday (12 percent).

There were notable differences between the two groups in their view of marriage or life partnership. Thirty-one percent of centenarians and 19 percent of the boomers said that sharing the same political views as your partner is very important, 40 percent of centenarians and 22 percent of boomers said having the same hobbies as your partner is ve
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