Public Release: 

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

Oxford University Press USA

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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Authors of the study:
Arlene Ash; University of Massachusetts Medical School, Quantitative Health Sciences A
imee Kroll-Desrosiers, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Quantitative Health Sciences
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" can be accessed here: http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/lookup/doi/10.1093/gerona/glv020

The The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Medical Sciences is published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. Attribution to The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Medical Sciences is requested in all news coverage.

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