By Euro Weekly News Media • 09 May 2014 • 13:59
Scientists have been studying the genes of 894 men and women over the age of 100 in Spain and Japan and found a gene linked to longevity.
It seems that the secret to a long and healthy life lies in chromosome 9p21.3, which has previously been associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Centenarians live at least fifteen years longer than the average person in the West.
This propensity for long-life is partially genetic, and it appears that there are a number of gene variants that may hold the key to a healthy old age life.
The study looked at 152 Spaniards aged between 110 and 111 years and 742 Japanese people aged between 100 and 115 years.
The results have been published in the journal Age.
Alejandro Lucía, the main author said: “This variant may be associated with extreme longevity, particularly among the Spanish population.
“The study also revealed that the risk allele (this is one of a number of alternative forms of the same gene) reduces the possibilities of reaching one hundred years of age”.
Lucía said: “People aged one hundred years or over are not only the peak of the population pyramid but they also represent a healthy ageing model given that they have delayed, and sometimes even avoided, chronic illnesses that come with age and loss of independence. They tend to be just as health as nonagenarians”.
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