Sweden: Number of Centenarians Growing

By Barbara Gay
Barbara Gay
Barbara Gay
December 27, 2009 Updated: December 28, 2009

GOTHENBURG, Sweden—At a recent meeting on Swedish elderly care, the Swedish king said that since he became king, the number of congratulatory telegrams he has sent to Swedish citizens celebrating their 100th birthday, has increased quite markedly.

According to a study by medical student, Asa Marmstål, who also attended the conference, the number of centenarians in Sweden has increased by more than ten times since 1970. The country has now about 1,500 people age 100 years or older.

The Lancet, a prestigious weekly medical journal, published a study by German and Danish researchers, who believe that half of today's children in the first world, will reach 100 years old—at least.
According to another The Lancet study, (Ageing Populations: The Challenges Ahead), the“pace of increase in life expectancy” has risen in developed countries, (more and more people are living longer) and research suggests “that people are living longer without severe disability.”

Associate Professor Christer Nilsson of Lund University Hospital said to Swedish Radio in October, that, “The most important factor in the human life span increase, is that we have clean water, better living standards, and better nutrition during childhood.”

Though Gustaf Palmstierna, who turned 100 years old last March, told the Swedish Radio on Christmas Day that he believes it is due to the genes. He added, “But I have been careful, I have never smoked, but I´ve taken a few schnapps in my life, and not a few either. Do you want to hear how I sound when I sing a schnapps song?”

Barbara Gay