The Institute of Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan recently sponsored a research project examining longevity and lifespan of Azerbaijanis. Dr. Sevinj Huseynova, the lead researcher at the Longevity Physiology Laboratory, said that the study’s findings, which were released Monday, show that those with the longest lifespan live in Azerbaijan’s southern regions.
“There are certain generations of long-living people,” Huseynova told Trend. “If the ecological environment is good, the gene is not lost and is inherited. Conversely, if someone whose ancestors were long-lived lives in a bad ecological environment, then this factor negatively affects their life expectancy.”
Lankaran, Lerik, Masalli, all districts are in the south, and Nagorno-Karabakh region had populations with a long life expectancy compared to those living on the Absheron peninsula, which includes the capital city of Baku, and the central regions of Mingachevir, Goychay and Ujar.
According to the data collected in 2018, approximately 10,000 people are over 90 years old. Women dominate amongst centenarians – there are currently 814 of them – and 24 men also over 100 years of age. The Lerik region, in the southern part of the country near its border with Iran, is known for some of the longest-living people in the South Caucasus.
The most famous centenarian from Azerbaijan, hailing from Lerik, is Shirali Muslumov, known as Shirali Baba or “grandpa Shirali.” According to some sources, he was born in 1805 and he died in 1973, putting him at the ripe old age of 168. However, his age at the time of death remains disputed.
Muslumov had 23 children from three marriages and is said to have fathered a child at age 136. Azerbaijan’s super-centenarian has been included into the Guinness Book of World Records for his incredible longevity. Some sources claim him to be the oldest person ever. Shirali Muslumov linked his mind-blowing lifespan to the ecological environment of Lerik and his diet, which consisted of yogurt, cheese, rice and boiled meat washed down with lamb’s milk.
The Museum of Long-Lived Persons in Lerik features information about other centenarians that lived in the region, including Mahmud Eyvazov, who lived for 150 years; Majid Agayev and Gizil Guliyeva, who died at 145 and 134, respectively; and Mahbuba Fatullayeva, who joined the majority at 113.
Mirzade Jabbarova, a 103-year-old resident from the southern Lankaran region located at the neighborhood with Lerik, is recorded as the longest living person alive in Azerbaijan today.