Longevity Around the Turn of the 20th Century: Life-Long Sustained Survival Advantage for Parents of Today's Nonagenarians.
van den Berg, Niels; Rodríguez Girondo, Mar; de Craen, Antón JM; Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine; Beekman, Marian; Slagboom, P Eline
Members of longevous families live longer than individuals from similar birth cohorts and delay/escape age-related diseases. Insight into this familial component of longevity can provide important knowledge about mechanisms protecting against age-related diseases. This familial component of longevity was studied in the Leiden Longevity Study which consists of 944 longevous siblings (participants), their parents (N = 842), siblings (N = 2,302), and spouses (N = 809). Family longevity scores were estimated to explore whether human longevity is transmitted preferentially through the maternal or paternal line. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were estimated to investigate whether longevous siblings have a survival advantage compared with longevous singletons and we investigated whether parents of longevous siblings harbor a life-long sustained survival advantage compared with the general Dutch population by estimating lifetime SMRs (L-SMRs). We found that sibships with long-lived mothers and non-long-lived fathers had 0.41 (p = .024) less observed deaths than sibships with long-lived fathers and non-long-lived mothers and 0.48 (p = .008) less observed deaths than sibships with both parents non-long lived. Participants had 18.6 per cent less deaths compared with matched singletons and parents had a life-long sustained survival advantage (L-SMR = 0.510 and 0.688). In conclusion, genetic longevity studies may incorporate the maternal transmission pattern and genes influencing the entire life-course of individuals.
Type of Publication:
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences