Keeping your records spotlessly clean extends the life of a stylus, has been my experience. And Yes some cartridges the suspension stiffens with age increasing the wear. How this relates to the performance of your particular cartridge is a good question. I keep a few test records and when tracing the tracking grooves if I start to notice a deterioration, then its time for a new cartridge if a MC or a new stylus assembly for a MM cartridge. Early Shure and Ortofon from the 60's had a very difficult time in dry climates was my experience.