Demographic, phenotypic, and genetic characteristics of centenarians in Okinawa and Japan: Part 1-centenarians in Okinawa

Mech Ageing Dev. 2017 Jul;165(Pt B):75-79. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2016.11.001. Epub 2016 Nov 12.


A study of elderly Okinawans has been carried out by the Okinawa Centenarian Study (OCS) research group for over four decades. The OCS began in 1975 as a population-based study of centenarians (99-year-olds and older) and other selected elderly persons residing in the main island of the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. As of 2015, over 1000 centenarians have been examined. By several measures of health and longevity the Okinawans can claim to be the world's healthiest and longest-lived people. In this paper we explore the demographic, phenotypic, and genetic characteristics of this fascinating population.

Keywords: Caloric restriction; Centenarian; Diet; Environment; Genetics; Longevity; Okinawa.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Male
  • Phenotype*
  • Population Dynamics*