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Old and Healthy? Thank Your Genes

Old and Healthy? Thank Your Genes
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At 98, Harold Laufman plays the violin, prepares dinner for relatives and throws a joint birthday party with his 31-year-old neighbor. He is writing a book about life after 95 and calls his girlfriend “feisty.” The retired surgeon says, “I wake up every morning with an agenda for the day.”

According to research published August 3 in the online edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Laufman probably owes his longevity to the genes he inherited. Dr. Nir Barzilai, Chair of Aging Research and Director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, was lead researcher in a study that looked at over 500 Ashkenazi Jews. All were between ages 95 and 117 and were living independently. Three quarters were women. They were enrolled in the Longevity Genes Project.

The advantage of focusing on the Ashkenazi Jews was their genetic homogeneity. A trained interviewer asked questions about their lifestyles at age 70ódrinking and smoking, diet and exercise. The results were compared with responses from 3,164 people surveyed for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted between 1971 and 1975.

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Photo from Urbankudos via Flickr Creative Commons

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138 comments

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10:35PM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

Thank you.

3:40PM PST on Dec 14, 2012

Interesting article - minus video, thank you.

3:39PM PST on Dec 14, 2012

Interesting article - minus video, thank you.

3:04PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

I can't afford to live that long.

6:09PM PST on Dec 22, 2011

lies. everyone knows it is 100% a vegan diet. thats what "they" told me.

6:10AM PST on Nov 27, 2011

Thanks a lot its quite inspiring I feel I may also go on the path lead by them,I hv compleated my53 years and I feel myself as young as 25.I wish all msy live long and healthy.

4:30PM PST on Nov 10, 2011

thanks

2:43PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

I would LOVE to live to 100 or even much longer, but only if in good health.

But even if in perfect healthy I wouldn't want to live for 5,000 Million Billion Trillion Quadrillion years to the googolplex power (which doesn't even begin scratch the surface of eternity), like religious people apparently are imagining when they pine about everlasting life.

9:04AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

No. Not genetics. Cohesive, positive culture.

4:15AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

thanks for sharing.

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