A large study of the genetic basis of human longevity highlights the influence of DNA on lifestyle choices and how these influences, in turn, are related to longevity. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh looked at 25 population studies and analyzed genetic data from more than 600,000 men and women from North America, Europe, and Australia, and compared the results to their parents’ lifespan. These correlates of longevity, published in the October 13, 2017, issue of the journal Nature Communications, included the following:
The researchers also homed in on the factors most likely to shorten your life. These include susceptibility to coronary artery disease, cigarette smoking, lung cancer, insulin resistance, and excess body fat. For example, they estimate that a lifetime of smoking can knock seven years off your life and that every increase in body mass unit can reduce your lifespan by seven months. For every two pounds of excess body weight lost, you can increase your lifespan by two months. Additionally, the researchers found correlations between some of the longevity traits and factors that lengthen or shorten your life. For instance, higher education is linked to quitting smoking, and increased body mass is correlated with coronary artery disease.
Joshi PK, Pirastu N, Kentistou K, et al. Genome-wide meta-analysis associates HLA-DQA1/DRB1 and LPA and lifestyle factors with human longevity. Nature Communications. Published online October 13, 2017; 8(1). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00934-5
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