Those who are lucky enough to qualify for a telegram from the Queen have simply been dealt a good genetic hand at birth, the study indicates.
Academics studied almost 500 people between 95 and 109 and compared them with over 3,000 others born during the same period.
They found those who lived extremely long lives ate just as badly, drank and smoked just as much, took just as little exercise and were just as likely to be overweight as their long-gone friends.
The study was carried out by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who interviewed 477 very long lived Ashkenazi Jews.
Prof Nir Barzilai, director of the college's Institute of Ageing Research, said previous studies of this group had identified certain genes which protected them from the effects of a normal Western lifestyle.