Thursday, March 5, 2015

If you come from a family with relatives who have lived long lives, you will too?

Recent research from the Long Life Family Study (LLFS) confirms that severe mortality-associated diseases are less prevalent in the families of long-lived individuals than in the general population. The Journals of Gerontology, Series A® will publish these findings in the article titled, "Are Members of Long-Lived Families Healthier than Their Equally Long-Lived Peers? Evidence from the Long Life Family Study" on March 5, 2015. The LLFS is an international collaborative study of the genetics and familial components of exceptional survival, longevity, and healthy aging.

Researchers found that seven conditions were significantly less common for siblings in a long-lived family, than for similarly aged controls: Alzheimer's, hip fracture, diabetes, depression, prostate cancer, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. Somewhat in contrast, the LLFS siblings were more likely to be receiving care for arthritis, cataract, osteoporosis, and glaucoma. Spouses, offspring and offspring spouses of these long-lived sibships shared in the significantly lower risk for Alzheimer's, diabetes, and heart failure. Thus, both genetic and environmental factors appear to be in play. Since most of the offspring generation are not yet seventy-five, it will be fascinating to see whether this early evidence for a health advantage in both genetic and marital relatives of long-lived families strengthens as the cohort ages.

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