Long life spans may be genetically predetermined

Long life spans may be genetically predetermined

August 4, 2011

Centenarians, people who live past the age of 95, often cause scientists to scratch their heads. Individuals who live well into their 90s and beyond are usually no more or less healthy than others, and a recent study found one possible reason that describes why some people live longer.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University interviewed almost 500 people who were between the ages of 95 and 112, asking about their lifestyles, weight, diet, smoking and drinking habits. The participants’ responses showed that lifestyles may not be the most important factor for long life, but in fact people who live longer may have genes that protect them from the effects on unhealthy lifestyles.

“Although this study demonstrates that centenarians can be obese, smoke and avoid exercise, those lifestyle habits are not good choices for most of us who do not have a family history of longevity,” said Dr. Nir Barzilai. “We should watch our weight, avoid smoking and be sure to exercise, since these activities have been shown to have great health benefits for the general population, including a longer lifespan.”

Regardless of whether people think they will live forever, accidents can still happen. This is why medical alert systems can be a good investment to protect older adults.

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