Lifestyle main factor in determining longevity, Americans say | CBS News poll

Lifestyle tops the list as the most important factor when determining how long a person will live, according to a recent CBS News poll. A person’s lifestyle comes out far ahead of a person’s genes (19%), their emotional well-being (16%) and economic status (13%). Fewer Americans (4%) think that where a person lives is the determining factor in a person’s longevity. 


Lifestyle is the top choice across demographic groups, including age, gender and education. Although those over age 45 are a bit more likely than those who are younger to say a person’s genes are the most important factor in determining how long a person will live.

But what is considered old anyway?  

There is little consensus among Americans on what age range is considered old, although most don’t think a person is considered old before they are 60 years old. Most Americans start thinking of people as old when they enter their sixties: 27% think people in their sixties are old, 28% say that about people in their seventies, and 24% of Americans don’t think people are considered old until they are in their eighties. 


Different age groups perceive things differently.  Four in 10 younger adults — those under age 30 — think of people as old when they reach their fifties. As people grow older, they’re more likely they are to think of “old” as an age that is older than they are. Most Americans who are age 65 and over don’t think they’re considered old until they are at least in their seventies, including 40% who don’t think people are old until they are in their eighties.