Xinjiang is recognized by the international natural medical community as one of five regions in the world known for longevity. Reporters learned from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Aging Committee that latest statistics show that there are 203,592 elderly people over the age of 80 in Xinjiang, of whom 1,211 are centenarians.
Data collected in 1987 shows that at the time there were 865 centenarians in Xinjiang. According to a selection conducted by the Gerontological Society of China (GSC) in 2008, six of the 10 oldest Chinese men and women come from Xinjiang. Among them, the oldest man and the oldest woman are both from Xinjiang; the oldest man was 121-year-old Sadiq Sawut from Poskam County, Kashgar Prefecture and the oldest woman 118-year-old Maihefu Zihan from Urumqi.
Both Kashgar Prefecture and Hotan in South Xinjiang are regarded as "longevity towns." With a population of 3.7 million, Kashgar Prefecture has 604 centenarians. There are 16 elderly people aged over 90 and 7 centenarians in Layisu Village, Yutian County, Hotan which has a population of 2,543.
Reporters learned that Xinjiang's centenarians are mostly ethnic minorities and have a balanced sex ratio. Most live in rural areas and have long been engaged in manual labor. The secret of their longevity lies in their eating, drinking and living habits. In addition, improved standards of living and medical care conditions are also an important factor in the growth in Xinjiang's elderly population. Reporters learned from Xinjiang's civil affairs departments that at present, 2.03 million elderly people in Xinjiang are over 60 years old, of whom 10,307 are entitled to government subsidies allocated to the elderly.
By People's Daily Online