Caribbean Net News
Published on Saturday, October 6, 2007
HAVANA, Cuba (AFP): Cuba now has some 2,500 centenarians -- in a population that just tops 11 million, state media reported Friday.
Cuba's life expectancy is 77.
And gerontologist Roberto Dieguez told the Communist Party newspaper Granma the centenarian census had now hit about 2,500.
Most of the super-seniors are women. And there could be genetic, gender and emotional factors in the longevity trends, said another gerontologist Alberto Fernandez.
"Of the 270 centenarians interviewed (in the Havana area), 210 were women and that could have to do with (protective effects of) estrogen, or loss of iron through menstrual periods," said Katy Hind, another researcher.
Authorities did not give an exact percentage of female centenarians. Hind said that in the Havana area 55 percent of the centenarians were children of parents who lived to be at least 80.
Cuba's oldest person is a woman in Granma province aged 122, authorities said. They have never given her name.