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Summary
A cohort of community-dwelling Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with exceptional longevity defined as survival and living independently at age 95 and older. Four hundred seventy-seven individuals (mean 97.3 ± 2.8, range…
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Biology of Aging Article 6 Citation Rajpathak SN, Liu Y, Ben-David O, et al. Lifestyle factors of people with exceptional longevity. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 59: 1509-1512
Hypothesis
The authors hypothesized that lifestyle factors including physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary habits in men and women have bearing with exceptional longevity.
Description of Study
The authors applied the method of retrospective cohort study. A cohort of community-dwelling Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with exceptional longevity defined as survival and living independently at age 95 and older. Four hundred seventy-seven individuals (mean 97.3 ± 2.8, range 95-109; 74.6% women) and a subset of participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I (n = 3,164) representing the same birth cohort as a comparison group participated.
Results/Conclusions
Overall, this study suggests that people with exceptional longevity were not healthier earlier in life in terms of BMI, smoking, physical activity, or diet than the general U.S. population. These results support the notion that those with exceptional longevity may interact with environmental and lifestyle factors differently than others. Lifestyle factors play a larger role in human lifespan than due to genetic factors. The presence of longevity genes in people with exceptional longevity counters the presence of disease-associated genes.
Significance/Implications
To live long and to live a healthy life is the normal expectation of a human being. Two significant factors have been identified for the important role they play in longevity and they are lifestyle and genetic factors. The relative contributions of these two factors are a matter of conjecture. But the scale tilts more in favor of genetic contribution to a healthy life span in those with exceptional longevity may be greater than that in the general population and several genes have been found to be associated with longevity in these individuals. But in studies the lifestyle of this population has received less attention. Read More
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