The Journals of Gerontology, Series A® 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.” 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.
Authors of the study:
David Hoaglin; University of Massachusetts Medical School, Quantitative Health Sciences
Kaare Christensen; University of Southern Denmark, The Danish Aging Research Center; Odense University Hospital, Department of Clinical Genetics and Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology
Hua Fang; University of Massachusetts Medical School, Quantitative Health Sciences Thomas Perls; Boston University Medical Center, Geriatrics
The paper, “Are Members of Long-Lived Families Healthier than Their Equally Long-Lived Peers? Evidence from the Long Life Family Study” DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glv015