The 20th century will be remembered for its technological and scientific discoveries and for the exceptional changes in the demographic structure brought about by these and the improved economic and social conditions; in fact, the reduction in the birth rate and a fall in the death rate have caused an increase in the population of the elderly.
JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association
CONTEXT: Individuals with exceptional longevity have a lower incidence and/or significant delay in the onset of age-related disease, and their family members may inherit biological factors that modulate aging processes and disease susceptibility. OBJECTIVE: To identify specific biological and genetic factors that are associated with or reliably define a human longevity phenotype.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the relative risk and population attributable risk (PAR) of death with dementia of varying type and severity and other risk factors in a population of exceptional longevity. METHODS: Deaths were monitored over 5 years using vital statistics records and newspaper obituaries in 355 individuals with prevalent dementia and 4,328 without in Cache County, UT. Mean age was 83.3 (SD 7.0) years with dementia and 73.7 (SD 6.8) years without. History of coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other life-shortening illness was ascertained from interviews.
Cigarette smoking has been clearly linked to the most common causes of death in the elderly and contributes to the higher death rate and disability rate associated with many chronic illnesses that are common in this age group. The combination of smoking along with other risk factors like hypertension and diabetes increase high frequency disease, and disability as well as adding to an increase in mortality rate.
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. Supplement
In Western countries data from clinical and epidemiological studies have induced the public health offices to promote a great deal of advertising and informative campaigning for smoking reduction. Cigarette smoking has been clearly linked to the most common causes of death in the elderly and contributes to the higher death rate and disability rate associated with many chronic illnesses that are common in this age group.
High prevalence and low female/male ratio for validated centenarians are observed in Sardinia and these findings appear to be thus far unique to this island. Moreover a specific region on the island is characterized by exceptional male longevity. We calculated the extreme longevity index (ELI), defined as the percentage of persons born in Sardinia between 1880 and 1900, who became centenarians.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between blood groups and life expectancy. We compared frequencies of ABO blood group in 269 centenarians (persons over 100 years) living in Tokyo and those in regionally matched controls (n=7153). Frequencies of blood types A, O, B, and AB in centenarians were 34.2, 28.3, 29.4, and 8.2%, respectively, while those in controls were 38.6, 30.1, 21.9, and 9.4%, respectively. Blood type B was observed more frequently in centenarians than in controls (chi(2)=8.41, P=0.04).
Our previous work revealed that 88% of centenarians delay or escape the age-related lethal diseases cardiac disease, stroke and diabetes. In the cases of those having a history of cancer we have observed anecdotes of centenarians presenting with large primary tumors that would have otherwise been expected to have metastasized and to have been lethal. However, these tumors were removed without consequence.
The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
The choice of a phenotype is critical for the study of a complex genetically regulated process, such as aging. To date, most of the twin and family studies have focused on broad survival measures, primarily age at death or exceptional longevity. However, on the basis of recent studies of twins and families, biological age has also been shown to have a strong genetic component, with heritability estimates ranging from 27% to 57%.
Official figures show that life expectancy in Costa Rica is longer than in the United States (US), in spite of the fact that per capita health expenditure is only one-tenth that of the US. To check whether this is for real and to explore some of its determinants, 900 Costa Ricans aged 60+ were followed from 1984 to 2001. Follow-up household visits were made, deaths were tracked in the national death registry, and survival status in the voting registry was double-checked. In addition, the survivors were contacted in 2002. Two-thirds of the panel had died by December 2001.