From National Geographic:
Though most of us won't make it to 116, National Geographic Fellow and longevity expert Dan Buettner has discovered tips on reaching old age through his work on blue zones—pockets of longevity around the world. In his second edition of his book The Blue Zones, Buettner writes about a newly identified Blue Zone: the Greek island of Ikaria (map). National Geographic magazine Editor at Large Cathy Newman interviewed him in December about the art of living long and well. (Watch Buettner talk about how to live to a hundred.)
Q. You've written about Blue Zones in Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; Nicoa, Costa Rica; and Okinawa, Japan. How did you find your way to Ikaria?
A. Michel Poulain, a demographer on the project, and I are always on the lookout for new Blue Zones. This one popped up in 2008. We got a lead from a Greek foundation looking for biological markers in aging people. The census data showed clusters of villages there with a striking proportion of people 85 or older. (Also see blog: “Secrets of the Happiest Places on Earth.”)
In the course of your quest you've been introduced to remarkable individuals like 100-year-old Marge Jetton of Loma Linda, California, who starts the day with a mile-long [0.6-kilometer] walk, 6 to 8 miles [10 to 13 kilometers] on a stationary bike, and weight lifting. Who is the most memorable Blue Zoner you've met?
Without question it's Stamatis Moraitis, who lives in Ikaria. I believe he's 102. He's famous for partying. He makes 400 liters [100 gallons] of wine from his vineyards each year, which he drinks with his friends. His house is the social hot spot of the island. (See “Longevity Genes Found; Predict Chances of Reaching 100.”)
He's also the Ikarian who emigrated to the United States, was diagnosed with lung cancer in his 60s, given less then a year to live, and who returned to Ikaria to die. Instead, he recovered.
Yes, he never went through chemotherapy or treatment. He just moved back to Ikaria.
Did anyone figure out how he survived?
Nope. He told me he returned to the U.S. ten years after he left to see if the American doctors could explain it. I asked him what happened. “My doctors were all dead,” he said.