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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Cigars and sex 'boost Cuba lives'
Cuban cigar smoker
Centenarians say cigars, sex and coffee boosted their life expectancy
Cuba's high number of centenarians say their longevity is down to laying off alcohol, but indulging in coffee, cigars and sex.

The findings are the result of a study that looked into the lives of 54 out of the more than 100 centenarians who live in Villa Clara province.

More than 60% of them had parents who also lived to be over 100.

Cuba, with a population of 11.2 million, has about 3,000 people who have lived for more than a century.

The results of the study were reported to the National Geriatrics and Social Work workshop in Santa Clara town, the newspaper Juventud Rebelde said.

In the study, the lives of the centenarians were found to be disciplined, but not austere.

None was alcoholic, and they said they loved coffee and cigars, which they consumed in large quantity.

They had a healthy interest in a number of areas, including sex, said Dr Nancy Nepomuceno, who carried out the study.

Most of the centenarians were mentally alert, had a good lifestyle and did manual labour in rural areas.

Almost all ate a diet which included fish, eggs, milk, white meat and vegetables, cooked with little salt and natural seasonings.

The life expectancy in Cuba is 76, but in Villa Clara province, where the study was carried out, it is 78.

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