(This is a general problem of priors and evidence and model uncertainty I think about occasionally: https://www.gwern.net/Modus https://www.gwern.net/Littlewood https://www.gwern.net/Mail-delivery#on-model-uncertainty https://www.gwern.net/Research-criticism https://www.gwern.net/Everything https://www.gwern.net/Turing-complete#on-seeing-through-and-... )
If she was, say, 132, I'd be more suspicious, but 122 sounds more reasonable for statistical outliers in an incredibly complex process.
The interpretation of the 120 years reference is more complicated. See https://www.aish.com/atr/120-Year-Lifespan.html
Do you have any more information on this? It sounds like interesting reading, but all I can find on Google is a link to this post.
Methus'lah lived nine hundred years
Methus'lah lived nine hundred years
But who calls dat livin'
When no gal will give in
To no man what's nine hundred years ?
Advancements in nutrition and health in combination with expectations about longevity might result in similar clustering followed by leaps.
Or not. Just saying that in the absence of a better fundamental understanding it's difficult to judge the strength of such circumstantial evidence. This recent paper should absolutely make us more skeptical of claims, but doesn't really shed much light on the heart of the matter--limits of longevity.
A similar phenomenon might also exist in the context of longevity. If you get sick and weak at 70 but expect to live to the average age of 90 you might be more optimistic and committed to getting well. If you're sickly at 95 but expected to have already died you might give up the ghost sooner, so to speak.
Assuming that such a phenomenon exists in the context of longevity, I'm intimating that increased awareness about extreme longevity might have the effect of changing expectations and therefore advancing at the margins the extremes of longevity that some people attain. And if the phenomenon behaves like it does in sports, one would expect clustering followed by intermittent breaks to a new limit.
EDIT: To be clear, my main point isn't that this phenomenon exists but that given the possibility of its existence, and in tandem with the clear paucity of reliable, accurate data, the clustering we see might not be strong evidence of a hard barrier at ~117, and in particular not strong evidence that 122 is wildly improbable.
Shame she had no surviving offspring, though it seems like her daughter didn't share her longevity anyway.
That line of reasoning does not apply here. Someone will win the lottery given enough time as the possibility space is bound - but there is no similar given guarantee that any human would ever live to age X if we have never observed a human living to age X before.
The lottery parallel still doesn't feel the most apt; the definition you specify ensures that you will always have such a person (who lived to be the oldest, and who had the largest gap with the previous record holder) for n > 1 people. In that sense it is recurrent, unlike winning the lottery, which no one has until someone does (or winning in a raffle, where we know that there will aways be a winner due to the very definition of the game).
Regardless, none of that helps us determine any further how plausible Calment's statistically anomalous record is.
Apparently the theory gained traction thanks to this article summarizing the research: https://medium.com/@yurideigin/jaccuse-why-122-year-longevit...
There are so many leaps of logic in there that it's hard for me to take seriously. I like in particular that they use this photo to argue that Yvonne was taller than Jeanne when their posture is completely different: https://miro.medium.com/max/1050/1*VBI9NRmZ58XcZXif_6cgzw.pn...
I think the best argument in favor of this theory is that apparently Jeanne asked for some family documents to be destroyed which does seem highly suspicious, although it's also quite plausible that there were some other family secrets she didn't want to be made public especially since at the time she was becoming famous worldwide.
Meanwhile Jeanne was apparently able to name old professors and maids of hers, things that her daughter would probably not have known or remembered.
I wouldn't rule the theory out entirely but it's rather flimsy at this point IMO.
> Besides I think the counter-argument that the people in Arles would've noticed if Fernand Calment suddenly started pretending that his daughter was his wife seems rather pertinent.
This seems to assume a lot about the nature of their personal and social life. According to the Wikipedia article they didn't even live in the same apartment while they were married, so perhaps they weren't seen together in public.
> Meanwhile Jeanne was apparently able to name old professors and maids of hers, things that her daughter would probably not have known or remembered.
Really? If you're going to go assume someone else's identity with their cooperation and you're not stupid you're going to find out every little detail about their past life and remember it.
>Really? If you're going to go assume someone else's identity with their cooperation and you're not stupid you're going to find out every little detail about their past life and remember it.
The only motive they managed to dig up for the potential daughter/mother swap was to avoid inheritance taxes. Would they really go through all that effort for something like that? Would the administration really start asking such minute details about Jeanne's life to make sure that it was indeed her? How would they have even known to ask for something like that? It wasn't some young jew trying to evade the Gestapo during WW2, it was (presumably) a rich family trying to avoid taxes. It doesn't really add up to me. Actually it sounds like a world of troubles to avoid paying taxes to me, but who knows, rich people are weird.
More generally I agree that her age is extremely anomalous and as such it warrants some skepticism and there might be something hiding underneath all that. Still, at this point we have decades of researchers who have investigated her case and found nothing weird, and then these two Russian researchers who built this theory comparing old photographs and making Facebook polls asking their friends who they thought looked more like Jeanne on the pictures (it's literally in their paper, I'm not making it up).
It's possible that it's true but the evidence so far is extremely circumstantial and rather weak. The most compelling argument is effectively "people don't live to 122, so something fishy is going on". I suppose it's worth considering.
I'm not commenting on the plausibility of this woman assuming her mother's identity in 1934 to avoid taxation.
I'm pointing out that the comment about her supposed daughter knowing the name of her mother's math teacher doesn't make any sense as a refutation of those events if we otherwise assume them to be plausible, which that part of the Smithsonian article does.
Yes she's not fleeing the Gestapo, she's allegedly trying to avoid paying taxes. Are we to think that someone who's otherwise keeping up such a ruse wouldn't have thought that it could unravel because she doesn't know the name of her high school's best friend's sister's boyfriend or whatever?
Even if she hadn't thought about that at the time this quote is based on an interview she had in 1990 when she was 115 years old. At that point she'd have had a lot of time to consider that maybe her tax fraud was going to destroy most of her assets and possibly land her in prison, so maybe doing some research on her mother's life was in order.
The research of the 2 Russian guys who don’t speak a single word of french is full of very basic error and is rather of the level of the usual conspiracy theory (the city knew but everybody remained silent)
Fix: and then these two researchers
Again, I find anecdotes about Jeanne apparently being able to name old professors Yvonne wouldn't have personally met but might have heard tales of whilst also getting some other events wrong and occasionally mixing up things her father owned with things her husband owned rather uncompelling (much like I find the conspiracy versions' photographic comparisons and weird obsession with "hunter's gait" uncompelling). I think the big hole in the conspiracy theory is "why not just pretend they were both still alive"?
Both sides' evidence is pretty flimsy considering the extraordinary claims standard we should be using for both: there's one way for anyone that cares enough to settle the question and that's DNA
One of them was definitely dead and inheritance taxes were very high at the time. There's a good motive for the daughter to claim to be her mother.
It also explains why the son-in-law happily lived with his departed wife's "mother" for the next several decades (she was actually his wife pretending to be the mother).
Quite frankly, there's a lot of silly logic required to justify a lot of bizarre things Jeanne did after this census, which all make sense if Jeanne was really Yvonne by then. Occam's razor: is it more likely that the mother kept calling her husband her father for a few decades in casual conversation and lived with her son-in-law but not her husband, or is it more likely the daughter kept slipping up while trying to maintain the facade and lived with her own husband?
After the initial report was published a number of let's say "conspiracy theorists" made their own articles and tried to find new things sometimes with doubtful methods.
The original research doesn't claim that any particular piece of argument in itself is conclusive but that combined together, it creates a corpus of oddities that amount to a strong doubt.
In particular she made several "mistakes" when relating the names of people living with them, including the maid as you mention, which would be consistent with a maid that accompanied Yvonne to school but not Jeanne. See "Whom did Marthe Fousson accompany to school?" from the link above. Similarly for the piano teacher.
With name databases, there seems to have been a phenomenon where people retroactively created records when they were introduced (e.g., people registered for SSNs after the fact). Maybe there's something similar going on: people are overreporting their age when born with no records, but also are overreporting their age when they registered their birth after the fact.
It's a bit hard to explain in terms of underreporting age, and the trends are such that I think they still largely support the authors' hypotheses in terms of relative overreporting and underreporting. But I agree there's probably more fuzziness here.
The bigger issue for me that this raises are the perils of making inferences on outliers of any distribution. The further out you go on any characteristic, the more likely you are going to run into similar problems with errors, fraud, or unusual circumstances.
God bless your parents. I don’t care much for the immigration debate in our country, but we should be actively recruiting people like this.
Just to be clear, you're indicating that the criteria we should be selecting for is people willing to falsify information on official documents.
I also suspect that if you posed a force-choice question to most Americans, "Who would you rather have in this country: people who are willing to falsify official documents so they can work hard for longer, or people who stick to the letter of the law so that they can work as little as possible?", they would choose the former.
I'd prefer meaningful criteria that result in new citizens who would make positive contributions to a community, not criteria that would encourage otherwise ethical people to falsify official documents nor ones that equate toil with virtue.
They usually don't even use the same month and day for their fake DOB. This is because everyone in the family only celebrate their chinese/lunar calendar birthday instead (which is already on a different western date each year).
Context: Men 18-45 were excluded from the ILO Convention on forced labour of 1930 which included all other humans. They had to wait until 1957 to be included in the UN one. It’s often cited when people talk about women getting the vote only in 1945.
This is a persistent story in professional football (soccer). Clubs have taken to measuring wrist bones and other techniques to avoid buying players who are older than they say. A problem for people from countries where the official documentation process is somehow lacking.
It has been suggested that he lied about his age when he moved up north in order to avoid being discriminated against when applying for jobs. Or he may have been born in 1902 and simply lying about, or genuinely mistaken about, his age.
I wouldn't say much has changed in some regions of the US
> The justice ministry said the survey found that more than 77,000 people listed as still alive in local government records would have to be aged at least 120, and 884 would be 150 or older.
> The nationwide survey was launched in August after police discovered the mummified corpse of Sogen Kato, who at 111 was listed as Tokyo's oldest man, in his family home 32 years after his death.
> Kato's granddaughter has been arrested on suspicion of abandoning his body and receiving millions of yen in pension payments after his unreported death.
> Soon after came the discovery that a 113-year-old woman listed as Tokyo's oldest resident had not been seen by her family for more than 20 years. Welfare officials have yet to locate Fusa Furuya, who was last seen in about 1986.
It is kind of disturbing that these people are officially thought to be that age, but that nobody had been looking them up before despite them literally, albeit theoretically, being the oldest people alive on Earth!
Pretty standard, unanimous lifestyle advice. Stay social, stay active, not too much alcohol, lots of plants, avoid stress, don't smoke.
>In his book, Buettner provides a list of nine lessons, covering the lifestyle of blue zones people:
>Moderate, regular physical activity.
>Moderate caloric intake.
>Moderate alcohol intake, especially wine.
>Engagement in spirituality or religion.
>Engagement in family life.
>Engagement in social life.
We don't know which ones of those are real and which signify you live in a zone which has bad records for birth certificates.
For example, how many people over 100 are lifelong vegetarians? Vegans? I bet the number is extremely small (or zero in the case of vegans, a term coined in 1944), but that's what many people think of when one says "plant-based diet".
Well, that means lots of HFCS and starch, fried in vegetable oil, of course.
While that is true, many of those things (regular physical activity, stress reduction, engagement in family/social life, moderate alcohol intake) improve your quality of life regardless of whether it makes you live longer.
I would be willing to accept that most are frauds, but I do think it is possible for someone to live to be a supercentarian. I have met a couple people who are around 100 who seemed healthy and had it all together mentally. I’m sure some decent percent of people in that position have the ability to live for another 10 years
Researchers have spent tons of time trying to discover why certain areas are ripe with supercentenarians - what is it about their diet or environment or genetics or social structure. As a random person in the US, I have particularly heard about Okinawa in this regard.
This study is strongly implying that the only thing special about those areas is their ability and desire to commit fraud.
There is no biometric associated with a birth certificate created in year X that can be used to prove that the baby named in it has grown up to become the person claiming that identity in year Y.
An actual background check has to establish a chain of evidence linking the birth to the person being checked. This requires interviewing relatives, friends and acquaintances, collecting school and business records, drivers license records and any other public or private records.
So you need to assume identity of real person living or dead, which is more an effort than flat out bullshiting about your age.
And if you are assuming identity of other person, you cant simply snatch birth certificate and issue new id, but with your photo — if such id was issued before, it would be routine check to match photos. Alltogether it greatly limits, but not entirely eliminates this kind of identity thieft.
It is however other story to assume same identity (name, dob) but different parents (altought with same names) for inheritance or immigration fraud. That is pretty much undetectable in some circumstances.
We are talking about people born before 1910 here. Friends and acquaintances are all dead by definition. Drivers license won't come into play for decades. Other mid-life documents like marriage are also going to be decades later.
It's a hard problem. Especially when identity fraud for other reasons may be involved (a chield taking the identity of a parent to bypass inheritance taxes).
We need a biological test. Is there a biological marker that can attest of someone's age?
No, especially when you'd expect that the same qualities that might allow someone to live a very long time would also make them appear "biologically" younger. We don't have rings like trees.
I assume a large fraction of people who have considered committing this kind of fraud, have decided against it because they realised it would be relatively easy to investigate.
(And I expect that places with birth certificates also tend to have a more consistent presence of other kinds of records, and a higher law enforcement budget for investigating possible instances of fraud, when compared to places without birth certificates.)
For starter they do not have a global model, it seems that they handpicked different statistics for different areas that support their thesis (they do not even show anything concrete for Japan).
Regarding Sardinia, their numbers seem actually wrong: looking at the raw Istat data the numbers for 55 year life expectancy for the Sardinian provinces seem in line with the rest of Italy (95-96%) putting Sardinia somewhere in the middle of the (quite tight) Italian distribution.
It is possible that the researcher averaged the data over a longer period of time that I bothered to look is possible, but the paper doesn't discuss the methodology.
Their fitting, p value not withstanding, also seem a bit adventurous; the fact that all and almost only Sardinian provinces are extrme outliers shoud have been a tell. The rest of the Italian bprovinces are in a tight uniform cluster.
Sardinia, except for a very brief period in the mid 2010s,has only 4 provinces, so it is possible that messed up their data extraction (they show 8 provinces).
Also Sardinia is not particularly poorer than the rest of Southern Italy and actually has a lower crime rate (which they suggest but not outright state is a factor).
A better paper would probably try to build a single model for Japan, Italy and US using actual mortality, crime and poverty rates.
> The hypothesis that these relatively low literacy rates and incomes are generating age-reporting errors and pension fraud, and therefore remarkable age
records, seems overlooked. ...
> This issue presents a substantial problem for remarkable-age databases, embodied in a
deliberately provocative, if seemingly absurd, hypothesis:
> Every ‘supercentenarian’ is an accidental or intentional identity thief, who owns real and
validated 110+ year-old documents, and is passably good at their job.
Child benefits lead to shorter lifespans...
So I guess it is possible to live that old, just extremely unlikely.
Also, a lot of her photos feature her wearing clothes that were not in style at the ages she appears to be in the photos--but would have been right for her daughter.
And there's the bit where she keeps calling her putative husband her father...
And finally it's just plain weird that her son-in-law (i.e., her daughter's husband) moved in with her after her daughter's supposed death and lived with her in a common-law relationship for decades. But it makes perfect sense if it was actually just the daughter assuming her mom's identity for tax evasion purposes.
I looked at the picture comparisons, it's not like they had 20Megapixel HDR cameras back then, the quality is not great. Besides only a handful of pictures exist, with a lot of variations in lighting and exposition. It's possible that it's true, but it's not exactly overwhelming evidence in my opinion.
>And finally it's just plain weird that her son-in-law (i.e., her daughter's husband) moved in with her after her daughter's supposed death and lived with her in a common-law relationship for decades.
Wikipedia says: "By the 1954 census, she was still registered in the same apartment, together with her son-in-law, retired Colonel Billot, Yvonne's widower; the census documents list Jeanne as "mother" in 1954 and "widow" in 1962. Frédéric Billot lived next door with his wife Renée."
Doesn't make it sound quite as weird as you make it out to be.
That is extremely weird, and the simplest and most logical explanation is that Yvonne was committing estate tax fraud to avoid a ruinous tax on her inheritance of the family store.
Besides only a handful of pictures exist, with a lot of variations in lighting and exposition. It's possible that it's true, but it's not exactly overwhelming evidence in my opinion.
Yes, but pictures of the two of them are available and the older pictures of Jeanne clearly match the younger pictures of Yvonne. Jeanne would have needed to have had face surgery or some serious facial structural changes to have the face she did in her old age. The simplest explanation, again, is that Jeanne died young(ish) and Yvonne pretended to be her.
And again, this also explains why for decades, despite otherwise being sound of mind and coherent, she kept referring to her husband as her father in casual conversation.
> This issue presents a substantial problem for remarkable-age databases, embodied in a deliberately provocative, if seemingly absurd, hypothesis: "Every ‘supercentenarian’ is an accidental or intentional identity thief, who owns real and validated 110+ year-old documents, and is passably good at their job."
> This hypothesis cannot be invalidated by the further scrutiny of documents, or by models calibrated using document-informed ages. Rather, invalidating this hypothesis requires a fundamental shift: it requires the measurement of biological ages from fundamental physical properties, such as amino acid chirality or isotopic decay.
> Until such document-independent validation of remarkable ages occurs, the type I error rate of remarkable human age samples will remain unknown, and the validity of ‘supercentenarian’ data in question.
What I'm saying is that supercentenarianism seems heavily overrated.
> supercentenarianism seems heavily overrated.
The oldest of the old don't have a quality of life that makes me (and many others) enthused about advanced age: cognitive-impairment, blindness, deafness, immobility, frailty, chronic disease-- all of these are "on the table" as normal expectations except for a few very rare exceptions.
Not to mention that at such advanced age, whether it's 95 or 105, people often need constant 24/7 care, usually from dedicated family members who sacrifice their time to extend the time of another.
The point? She had a very good life up to at least 90 years old, much more than most people I know personally. Reaching 100 is not the point, living 95 good years is.
Not the op, but after watching nearly all of my relatives loose their minds to dementia, altimeters (edit: mood swings can be a...) or something else in later life, the idea of being trapped in that state for any amount of time is terrifying. I know it sounds trite, but having a fast motorbike squirrelled away (even if it's entirely unrealistic in actuality, for a number of reasons) is surprisingly soporific.
So I think for lack of birth certificates I can imagine the underlying process of unregistered people not being aware about their true age.
The claim that high poverty and crime rates produce such fraud feels prejudiced. also why would Sardinia be different in that regard compared to Sicily or poor regions on the Italian mainland?
Also I would be interested in how many hypothesis these researches tested on the data set and on whether they performed proper adjustments of thresholds (bonferroni correction)
I disagree. And note the claim was about "relative poverty and short lifespan".
Seems very straightforward reasoning that those in relative poverty with shorter lifespans have much more incentive to falsify their age to be older than they actually are.
Or, bureaucracy kills.
Do recommendations to reduce intake or intermittent fasting rely on unverified population ages?
My personal take on living long is to get regular health checkups and seek medical care early if there are any issues.
What do people like Queen Elizabeth, Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch do to remain healthy and still working at their age?
Sure, there might have been some time difference between date of birth from date of baptism, but it was usually short enough (even if it might have been a couple of years)
One bluezone is loma linda, california. Why was this not factored in this study. I find this study to be quite biased as well.
"A United States Citizenship and Immigration Services team in Los Angeles has been reviewing more than 2,500 naturalization files for possible denaturalization, focusing on identity fraud and willful misrepresentation. More than 100 cases have been referred to the Department of Justice for possible action." (2018)
Edit: I guess I was wrong and they are targeting these kinds of people.
Have you heard about this story? Do you think it's a political time bomb? What about this one? https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540903038...
On the flip side, I also feel that work visas should be granted under a very few limitations centered around having a job and place to live lined up along with English proficiency and/or enrollment in an ESL program. This should be combined with requiring that a company with work visas employ no more than 25% of staff on work visas and that the average pay matches the company's average pay as a whole. Under those conditions the issue could mostly self-regulate in terms of the rate of immigration vs. a sustainable level.
The problem is that everybody and their Uncle has a detailed plan for a fairer immigration policy, but every plan is different and nobody is willing to compromise. So everybody gets to claim that they're the reasonable one while simultaneously persisting the patently unreasonable and inhumane status quo.
The issue with immigration from Latin America is that the volume has been high enough that their original communities and cultures survive in tact, and those cultures involve a lot of socialist policies. It's Republicans not wanting to import people who vote for Democrats.
That's not really the case for immigration from places like Vietnam who assimilate much faster, but if they treat people differently like that then they get accused of racism and sued over it. So if they want to stymie net-Democrat-voter overall immigration by being pedantic about old forms then they have to do it uniformly.
> U.S. officials have been working behind the scenes to convince the Vietnamese government to repatriate more than 7,000 Vietnamese immigrants with criminal convictions. They have all been ordered removed from the U.S. by a judge.
> The U.S. government is trying to deport Vu over two criminal charges of assault and larceny dating back to 2001, even though both of those convictions have since been vacated.
> Vu was born in Saigon in 1967. His father was a U.S. serviceman fighting in the country, and he barely knew his mother.
> Now, in Boston, he has a steady job, a longtime partner and two U.S. citizen children. He doesn't want to return to Vietnam, but he might not have a choice.
Also worth mentioning that several of the horror stories that hit the news during the Trump administration happened under the Obama administration. Yes, Trump is significantly worse, but one administration does not achieve this level of viciousness this quickly unless the way is well and clearly paved.
Welcome to the Trump administration.
They are not old, they are only 55 according to the documents. /s
That's not snark--a relative willingly divulged that information in a public forum. That's sufficient evidence.
Yikes. Let's not overreact to a nondescript HN comment.
You should also understand that authorities do not seek that kind of evidence for violent crimes in the moment. Intelligence services capture massive amounts of traffic for future investigation. What you post today could be evidence for an offense you can't imagine ten years from now.
If your argument rests on future, unknown abuses... I'm afraid that's tin foil territory.
Your comments sound like regurgitated talking points from when Snowden was in the news, so I'm not sure who you think you're educating about fingerprinting, etc. It's been common knowledge for years.
Lisa: "Yes, but the records only go back to 1978 when the Hall of Records was mysteriously blown away!"
Sorry to be cynical.
”Research has been ongoing since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of 14C in the atmosphere has been over the past fifty thousand years. The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's calendar age
Because the time it takes to convert biological materials to fossil fuels is substantially longer than the time it takes for its 14C to decay below detectable levels, fossil fuels contain almost no 14C, and as a result there was a noticeable drop in the proportion of 14C in the atmosphere beginning in the late 19th century. Conversely, nuclear testing increased the amount of 14C in the atmosphere, which attained a maximum in about 1965 of almost twice what it had been before the testing began.”
Not 100% sure, but for someone that just died, you might be able to do it with their brain, as brain cells are hardly ever renewed. For a living human I don't think there is any way that's non-invasive.
I recently tried to read up on the topic and everything I found stated that brain/nervous cells are generally barely regenerated and can stay with you your whole life. Granted, most articles trace back to this source from 1967, but if newer information exists, they've done a really bad job at spreading it.
You want to validate the age of a person, so you remove one of their teeth or take a tissue sample from their eye?
There's not much in the tooth apatite that would be useful for radiometric dating on the time scale of a single human lifespan, though. I don't think you could do it with radiometrics, no matter what you sampled. Anything precise enough to indicate one year within a range of 100 would probably kill the animal with its radiation, even if it were naturally common enough to be taken up by living organisms.
It may be that a tooth is an easy source of original DNA, and approximate age may be extrapolated from accumulation of copy-error mutations in different types of cells in the body, which would be affected by the frequency of division. So by comparing DNA found in the tooth mineral against that found in the tooth nerve cells, and in the tooth blood supply, it might be possible to narrow the range of possible whole-organism ages by referencing mean mutation rates, and then further narrow it by checking telomere lengths. Seems like that might vary somewhat by individual, and their history of radiation exposure.
That wouldn’t help solve these cases.
That said, you generally have error boundaries spanning multiple decades and it measures since time of death (when new carbon stops being integrated into the body) not time of birth, so it would not be useful for this.
That said, the error bars are simply too large to do anything reasonable for dates prior to 1955. The difference between 80 years and 110 years is 98.7% vs. 99.0% of the original C14 concentration... and while you may be able to get a very precise measurement of the remaining C14 you also need to very precisely know the baseline from that era to determine the percentage. Thus typical radiocarbon error bars are at least ±60 years.
> In Italy, which has more uniform vital registration, remarkable longevity is instead predicted by low per capita incomes and a short life expectancy.
> Finally, the designated ‘blue zones’ of Sardinia, Okinawa, and Ikaria corresponded to regions with low incomes, low literacy, high crime rate and short life expectancy relative to their national average.
For example, it seems that as people get richer their diet becomes less healthy (too much quantity, too much meat, too much processed food, etc).
So there seems to be a sweet spot for healthy diet between "starving poor" and "decadent rich", at least when as long as 'traditional' diets survive.
I was making a general point independent of any fraud or lack of records.
As for the correlations, low incomes would provide a motive for age pension fraud. Short life expectancy being correlated with more supercentenarians suggests it’s not because people in those areas are naturally healthier.
They are specifically pointing out the "blue zones" where a high percentage of supercentenarians live. It's possible that the average literacy of Sardinia is separate from these pockets.
I mean I'm guessing the authors didn't just sit around and say, "hmm, I wonder what the literacy rates are in Sardinia? Let's say low." I guess it's possible though.
For Sardinia they only claim poverty (with a qualitative, non quantitative claim) and life expectancy which, if I'm reading the ISTAT tables correctly, they got spectacularly wrong.
Also there are no blue zones within Sardinia. The demographic data is the for the all the provinces of the island.
edit: And, of course, there's a lot of fraud cases.