Living Past 90: The Role of Genetics in Longevity
Genetics and Longevity
While lifestyle choices like diet and exercise are often touted as the keys to a long and healthy life, recent research suggests that genetics play a significant role in determining our lifespan. According to the Wall Street Journal, studies on aging have shown that living past age 90 is strongly linked to genetic factors. Robert Young of the Gerontology Research Group explains that the belief in controlling longevity through lifestyle choices alone is misguided. Instead, genetics becomes increasingly influential as people age, accounting for 25% of the ability to reach age 90, 50% to reach age 100, and 75% to reach age 106.
The Influence of Lifestyle and Modern Medicine
While genetics may be a major factor in longevity, it does not discount the importance of lifestyle choices and modern medicine. The Census Bureau projects that there are currently 109,000 centenarians in America, a 60% increase from 10 years ago. Articles on food, exercise, and diet provide valuable information that can help individuals lead longer and healthier lives. Mental health also plays a role, with positive outlooks and strong connections to family and friends contributing to overall health span. Additionally, individuals who avoid age-related diseases like cancer or dementia are more likely to live longer. Certain genes that repair DNA or resist Alzheimer’s disease have been identified as potential contributors to longevity.
Blood Tests and Longevity
Blood tests have also provided insights into longevity. Medical News Today reports that centenarians tend to have average to lower levels of blood biomarkers such as creatinine, glucose, and uric acid. Lower levels of these biomarkers suggest better kidney health and fewer issues like gout or kidney stones. While it is difficult to determine if these values are solely influenced by lifestyle choices, researcher Dr. Shunsuke Murata suggests that factors like diet and lifestyle may play a role in these more favorable values. However, the interaction with genetic factors remains a wildcard, complicating the relationship between blood biomarkers and longevity.
While lifestyle choices and modern medicine can certainly influence longevity, genetics appear to be a major determining factor in living past age 90. Understanding the role of genetics in aging can help individuals make more informed choices about their health. By combining healthy lifestyle choices with genetic insights, individuals can strive for a long and fulfilling life.
Original Story at www.newser.com – 2023-10-21 13:30:00