Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Nancy A. Pachana

Okinawa Centenarian Study: Investigating Healthy Aging among the World’s Longest-Lived People

  • Makoto SuzukiEmail author
  • D. Craig Willcox
  • Bradley Willcox
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_74-1



This entry outlines the goals, methods, and results of the Okinawa Centenarian Study, an ongoing (since 1975) study of healthy aging among the oldest old in the southernmost prefecture of Japan and well known as a “Blue Zone” due to the longevity of its citizens.

There is wide variability in disease prevalence and lifespan across populations worldwide. Past studies have suggested that while genes are important to specific diseases, the majority of the variation in overall human lifespan is environmental. Important environmental factors include dietary habits, physical activity, smoking and other risk behaviors, societal and public health practices (e.g., immunization), and basic health care.

We know from human epidemiological comparisons that some populations, such as the Japanese and, in particular, the Okinawans, who inhabit the most southwestern prefecture of Japan, have high...


Healthy Aging Human Longevity Active Life Expectancy Longevity Gene Calorie Density Food 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makoto Suzuki
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • D. Craig Willcox
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Bradley Willcox
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Okinawa Research Center for Longevity ScienceUrasoeJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of the RyukyusOkinawaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Human WelfareOkinawa International UniversityGinowanJapan
  4. 4.Hawaii Lifespan and Healthspan Studies, Kuakini Medical CenterHonoluluUSA
  5. 5.Department of Geriatric MedicineJohn A. Burns School of Medicine, University of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  6. 6.The Queen’s Medical CenterHonoluluUSA