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Old and High


Claim: People residing at higher elevations live longer than people at lower elevations.

Fact 1 from 1987: In the Peruvian village Vilcabamba, 9 out of its 819 people are more than 100 years old.

Fact 2: Vilcabamba lies about 9000 feet high in the Andes.

Fact 3 from 1987: In the U.S., about 3 out of 100,000 people are more than 100 years old.

Your Task: Is the above claim valid? How would you test it further? Does the data hold true today, more than 25 years later?

Note: As a side experience, you might compare age longevity data for people living in Denver versus the rest of the United States.

Source: Adapted from Reader's Digest Book of Facts, 1987, p. 187.