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Why do men live longer in Shetland?

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Alan H
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Why do men live longer in Shetland?

#1 Postby Alan H » September 6th, 2007, 12:40 pm

One for Alan C to answer?
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The Herald : News: HEALTH
http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/health/ ... 47.0.0.php
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Why do men live longer in Shetland? It can’t be the diet, after all …
DAVID ROSS, Highland Correspondent September 05 2007
Comment

CASE STUDY

The news that life expectancy has increased by five years in Shetland was welcomed by Gordon Smith, the presenter of BBC Radio Shetland's nostalgia show The 50-plus Club.

"If we were on the Scottish figure of 74.6, I wouldn't be making any plans because I am already 75. But in Shetland apparently men can expect to get 76.6 years so I will get another birthday bash out of it yet," he said.

"I do have friends up here who are well up in their 80s and 90s and still looking after themselves and out and about and keeping busy. I don't think it can be the diet because when we grew up, everything we ate was salted and now we are told that salt kills."
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Mr Smith thinks there may be other explanations. "The thing about Shetland is you either love it or hate it and those who hate it tend to leave. From the war on there have been people coming up here and many have married, stayed and made their lives here. But others left pretty quickly. It was the same with the oilmen."

As a result, he believes there is probably a higher level of contentment within the Shetland community.

"Then you have got the importance that people attach to music up here. That matters," explained the erstwhile dance band musician.

It mattered to him. He had left Shetland when he was five.

His father was a seamen but went to Leith for work. "I came back in 1955 when I was 23 and never thought of leaving again. Indeed all the the time we were in Edinburgh, I never really thought of it as home.

"And of course I got so involved in the music up here, dances and concerts. I only knocked that off this year when I realised I had better go before I was pushed."

[Captured: 06 September 2007 12:41:45]

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Alan C.
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#2 Postby Alan C. » September 6th, 2007, 2:21 pm

It's not only the men that live longer, I help two sisters with their gardens (they each live alone in separate houses) one is 94 and the other 92, there have been five deaths in Aith while we have been here, and they were all in their 80s.
Old Gerordie 'o' da-manse is in his late 80s, and cycles 3 miles every morning, to catch the bus to Lerwick, then cycles home again at tea time.

It must be the unpolluted air up here because they certainly don't live a healthy lifestyle, as it said in the article, nearly everything they eat is salted, it's like the older generation just never caught on to refrigeration.
The big favorite is reestit mutton, the mutton is put in a bucket and the bucket filled with salt, it's then left for a couple of weeks till the salt turns to brine, then take out the mutton and hang it above the rayburn to dry, it's got to absorb the peat smoke to be authentic, cut into strips and eaten with tattie soup, it's the winter mainstay, at least for the older folk.
Yes I've tried it, it's bloody awful.

One of the first things I noticed here was the very high proportion of spectacle wearers, from toddlers right through to the elderly, there are also a disproportionate amount of diabetics, so much so that our health centre every Tuesday is for diabetics only.

Maybe the harsh life they had here 40/50 years ago "toughened them up" an elderly neighbor who died earlier this year aged 91, used to tell me about the "old days" when she had to row 7 miles up the voe to get groceries, as there was no shop in the village. (her son still splits fish and pegs them on the washing line to dry) I tried a bit of that as well, like chewing cardboard.
So no, I don't know why folk live longer here, but it certainly is the case, at least in our village it is.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Chineapple punk
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#3 Postby Chineapple punk » September 6th, 2007, 10:14 pm

I definitely think there is something to be said for breathing unpolluted air every day of your life.
I decided to be healthy this week and walk home from my work. I was just getting up a nice stride when I hit Pollokshaws rd which was teaming with traffic. Every time I took a breath I was choked by exhaust fumes, it made me feel quite ill. I thought about how nice it would be to have a scenic route with no cars, there are definitely too many on the road, it's quite ridiculous.
Give quiche a chance.

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Alan C.
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#4 Postby Alan C. » September 6th, 2007, 10:56 pm

Chineapple punk wrote:I definitely think there is something to be said for breathing unpolluted air every day of your life.
I decided to be healthy this week and walk home from my work. I was just getting up a nice stride when I hit Pollokshaws rd which was teaming with traffic. Every time I took a breath I was choked by exhaust fumes, it made me feel quite ill. I thought about how nice it would be to have a scenic route with no cars, there are definitely too many on the road, it's quite ridiculous.
It's not just the lack of traffic here (though that does help) there is no heavy industry, and no factories to speak of. The biggest factory we have here is the "Shetland catch" and while it is the biggest pelagic fish processing plant in Europe, it's still only the size of you're average city Tesco store.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Chineapple punk
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#5 Postby Chineapple punk » September 6th, 2007, 11:03 pm

Sounds wonderful. I think I would like to move there.
Give quiche a chance.

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lewist
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#6 Postby lewist » September 6th, 2007, 11:16 pm

Chineapple punk wrote:Sounds wonderful. I think I would like to move there.

Do it, CP!

My first job was in Sutherland and to get to work I drove 18 miles up the Strath of Kildonan, listening to Noel Edmunds on Radio One and news of the traffic jams round London. I just had to look out for the sheep and the Secondary School bus coming the opposite way.

Where I am now is pretty good too.

I also wanted to say I found Alan's reply really entertaining. It may be my nomination for best post of the forum so far, Alan!
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Alan C.
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#7 Postby Alan C. » September 9th, 2007, 9:14 am

This is from Fridays paper.
VETERAN sailor Duncan Sandison, who celebrated his 80th birthday last April, was a popular winner to end all popular winners in his race.

Read the full story here. With pictures.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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lewist
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#8 Postby lewist » September 9th, 2007, 10:20 am

Dinghy racing is a sport that requires agility! And Shetland sailors like strong winds which increases the need to be quick around the boat. Good on Duncan Sandison.

Alan, if you can work out what does it, bottle it, sell it and you'll become a millionaire!
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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lewist
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Re: Why do men live longer in Shetland?

#9 Postby lewist » September 30th, 2016, 11:37 am

I'm not sure it's just Shetland. I know a few guys in their nineties who are still very active. One (grandfather to three olympians) still walks everywhere except when he uses his electric bike, at 93; another has new lycra, a new and quite expensive electric bike and cycles everywhere, aged 91; one lady I know cycles everywhere at 85. We have marvellously clean air and a relaxed lifestyle. We have only three sets of traffic lights within fifty miles.

Life's good. :smile:
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Alan H
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Re: Why do men live longer in Shetland?

#10 Postby Alan H » September 30th, 2016, 1:08 pm

lewist wrote:I'm not sure it's just Shetland. I know a few guys in their nineties who are still very active. One (grandfather to three olympians) still walks everywhere except when he uses his electric bike, at 93; another has new lycra, a new and quite expensive electric bike and cycles everywhere, aged 91; one lady I know cycles everywhere at 85. We have marvellously clean air and a relaxed lifestyle. We have only three sets of traffic lights within fifty miles.

Life's good. :smile:
I looked up the life expectancy data... From the National Records of Scotland Life Expectancy in Scottish Areas, and extracted the mean life expectancy at birth (at other ages will give different results), sorted by life expectancy of males:

2016-09-30_13h04_49.png
2016-09-30_13h04_49.png (21.42 KiB) Viewed 763 times


Of course, this doesn't tell us about outliers, but maybe some surprises?
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