Unlocking Secrets to Healthy Aging among the Elderly within the Joe Gqabi District Municipality, South Africa


The search for genetic and environmental factors for longevity is constantly on the rise. While a small proportion of adults gracefully age to 100 years and above, others can barely make it above 50. The Joe Gqabi District Municipality of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa is one of the few places in the country with a high number of elderly people (≥80 years). The purpose of this study was to first identify contributing factors towards longevity in this district. It was secondly to use findings from this study to improve the quality of life that has a potential for the younger generation to experience healthy longer lives. Questionnaires, in-depth interviews, observation and focus group discussions were used to collect data. Results of this study indicated that while environmental factors may influence longevity, genetic factors appear to be the major determinants of long life spans in the Joe Gqabi District Municipality of South Africa. However, more studies to determine the specific genes responsible for longevity will shed more light in the determination of factors that contribute to long life spans in the study area.

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Goduka, N. , Rozani, l. and Njume, C. (2014) Unlocking Secrets to Healthy Aging among the Elderly within the Joe Gqabi District Municipality, South Africa. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 61-64. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.28010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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