Unraveling the mystery of why the inhabitants of Ikaria, an island of 99 square miles that is home to almost 10,000 Greek nationals, live so long and so well. In 2000, another island of longevity has been identified - a region of Sardinia’s Nuoro province is a place with the highest concentration of male centenarians in the world.
Social structure might turn out to be more important. In Sardinia, a cultural attitude that celebrated the elderly kept them engaged in the community and in extended-family homes until they were in their 100s. Studies have linked early retirement among some workers in industrialized economies to reduced life expectancy.