Children of Centenarians Found to be Healthier and Live Longer

Dec 26, 2008 by

Children of Centenarians Found to be Healthier and Live Longer

Did your parents live past 100 years of age? If so, then you have better odds of being healthy and living longer too, a recent study has revealed.

The study, conducted at Boston University and Boston Medical Center, looked at over 600 older adults in the United States and found that children of those who lived past 100, or “centenarians”, were also likely to live longer and had greatly lower likelihoods of getting diabetes, a heart attack or stroke over a period of 4 years.

The study had examined the health of 440 persons who had at least one parent living to 100 years or more, and compared it to the health of 192 persons whose parents were of average live expectancy. For all the study subjects, their average age was 72 when the study commenced.

In the course of the 4 years after the start of the study, those in the first group were 81% less likely to die and greatly less likely to get diabetes or cardiovascular conditions as compared to those in the control group. In the first group, 0.8% were newly diagnosed with diabetes 0.7% got a heart attack, and 1.0% got a stroke; in the control group, 5.0% were newly diagnosed with diabetes, 3.5% got a heart attack, and 6% got a stroke.

In the study, which was led by Emily R Adams and published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the team wrote: “These findings reinforce the notion that there may be physiological reasons that longevity runs in families and that centenarian offspring are more likely to age in better cardiovascular health and with a lower mortality than their peers. The current findings suggest that centenarian offspring are following in their parent’s footsteps, avoiding some of the vascular morbidities afflicting their peers and, more importantly, being less likely to die over time.”

Further, the team said that their findings imply that children of centenarians tended to retain a “cardiovascular advantage” over their peers during the aging process, and that they also emphasize the important role which cardiovascular health plays in longevity.

Besides the genetic factor, i.e. “nature”, surely the environmental, or “nurture”, factor, plays a huge part, too. After all, the first persons we learn from with regard to how to eat and how to live are our parents. So, if they have the right lifestyle and dietary habits to take them to such a ripe old age, we would be more likely to pick them up too. The truth is, nobody can tell how strong the role of genes are, because the role of the environment is very significant cannot be underestimated.

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