The review by Zhu et al. [1] appearing in Clinical Science earlier this year is one of several excellent recent review papers on telomeres and aging that, taken together, point to the importance of bridging the gap between research on cellular and cognitive aging. Researchers who study trends in aging across societies have shown that some factors can affect longevity. For instance, Fraser and Shavlik [2] have shown that optimal choices regarding diet, physical exercise, cigarette smoking, body weight and hormone replacement therapy in women had a significant influence on longevity in Californian Adventists. They followed up 34192 California Adventists from 1976 to 1988 and found higher life expectancy in this group compared with other white Californians by 7.28 years in men and 4.42 years in women. Other large cohort studies conducted in different countries have...

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