According to the CDC at this link (pdf), my granduncle LeRoy, born in 1903, had a life expectancy of 49.5 years; my grandfather, born in 1912, had 51.9 years.
Grampa died at 75, and Unca Roy was still driving the lawnmower up to the square to hang at the Liar's Bench. He passed at 87.
Gramma (Unca Roy's sister, my maternal grandmother) died at 73; her daughter Virginia(yes, my mother), died at 60.
Uncle Roy started smoking at age 12, the roll-your-owns, I don't know when he started chewing but longer than I can remember for certain. Never had cancer, emphysema, whatever.
Grampa had adult-onset diabetes (runs in that side of the family -- his dad, brother and sister all had it too, and they died early b/c of NOT taking care), and I suspect that's WHY he lasted as long as he did -- he paid attention, did all the tests his doctor suggested, and kept track as well as possible for the state of technology then -- "dip-strips," eew! Started with the pills in, oh, late 1960s? and went to insulin in the mid 70's if I recall right.
Gramma had "a bad heart" and hypertension for years; she died of congestive heart failure (and, I believe, a broken heart).
Virginia smoked for at least 25 years, two-pack-a-day (see previous rantage), but claimed that had nothing to do with the fact that she got emphysema later, that it was totally genetic, an enzyme deficiency. And she was an RN *snort*. Not just a river in Egypt.
SO. Uncle Roy, smokes for over 60 years, no prob. Ma, smokes for 25, quits to get remarried and lives another 15 years, dies from emphysema. What's the difference? Who would have predicted that variance?
"Every serving of alcohol takes three minutes off your life" according to some ad campaign a few years ago -- DH's dad should have died 5 years before DH was born by that criteria, says DH.
When married to Daughter's father, I took one of those stress questionnaires from a psych/counselor. I should have been dead three years at the time I took the test, more than 20 years ago.
That feller who started the whole jogging craze -- what was is name? -- much was made of the fact that he died of a heart attack. I found an article that mentioned that he actually outlived what his doctors expected as heart problems "ran" in his family.
I have decided that there is only one thing that'll kill ya, and that's being