Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Long-Lived Parents = Low Heart Risk

Parents Who Live to Age 85+ Bequeath Heart Health to Descendants WebMD 3/12/07 "At about age 40, the study shows, children of long-lived parents smoke less, have lower blood pressure, and have lower cholesterol levels than similar adults whose parents died before age 85. This means they are at much lower risk of heart disease and stroke...If we could eliminate high blood pressure, eliminate high cholesterol levels, and eliminate cigarette smoking, we would eliminate about 90% of heart disease."...Levy and colleagues at Boston University found that at the average age of 40, people who had two parents survive to 85 or older had fewer heart-disease risk factors than did people with parents who died before age 85...Levy stresses that with a healthy lifestyle -- and, perhaps, a little help from your doctor -- you can have the heart disease risk profile of someone whose parents lived very long lives...But you may not be able to match these genetically gifted individuals in life span...You don't have much chance of making it to 95 or 100 unless your parents did, no matter what you do," a lot you can do to determine how long you will live. But those things will get you from 65 to 85 -- not to 95."...Both of these researches -- and many others -- are trying to pinpoint the genes and genetic factors linked to long life. That work has only just begun..."At the turn of the 20th century, the leading causes of death were infectious diseases. Tuberculosis, pneumonia, cholera -- those kinds of things claimed more lives than anything else," he says. "Since the midpoint of the 20th century, the leading cause of death has been heart disease. Our grandparents couldn't do much to change the risk factors linked to life expectancy. But for us, today, that is an easy task.""

More evidence showing that most people with a healthy lifestyle can make it to 85, but beyond that you need the luck of the gene draw. Jeanne Calmet lived to 122 most likely because of a variety of genes working in combination... not because she liked her morning constitutional.

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