By JOSÉ A. DE LA OSA:
CURRENTLY living in Cuba are 1,551 individuals over 100 years of age, ten more than in 2010, according to the February updating of a study of centenarians undertaken during the years 2004-2008.
This multi-institutional investigation coordinated by the National Department for the Elderly and the Ministry of Public Health’s Social Assistance Department, documents that the doyenne of those who have passed the landmark age of 100 is Juana de la Candelaria Rodríguez who lives in Campechuela, Granma and will celebrate her 126th birthday in June.
The greatest number of centenarians, who receive special attention in Cuba, live within the provinces of Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Camagüey and Villa Clara - the latter being the province with the most elderly population in the country.
Individuals who live on beyond the 100 year mark are of great interest to researchers and the population in general. They have overcome environmental and health obstacles to reach the current limits of human life.
Life expectancy for those born in Cuba now stands at 78 years – 76 for men and 80.2 for women. Within the population of centenarians, there are 20% more women than men.
Havana. May 20, 2011