Monday, August 13, 2007

Dad's telomeres and lifespan matches daughters

The long and the short of it The Economist 8/12/07 "...what remains unknown is why some people have longer telomeres than others. And it is this question that Dr Hsueh addresses in a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...adjusted for age, the telomeres of men and women were the same length. (In the outside world, men generally have shorter telomeres than their female contemporaries.) That correlates nicely with the fact that among the Amish, men and women are equally long lived. And, since it is unlikely (though not impossible) that Amish men are genetically different from others, it also suggests that men's shorter telomeres in the outside world are a result of the way they conduct their lives, rather than an inevitable property of being male...Children's telomeres did, indeed, correlate in length with those of their parents—but they correlated only with one parent, the father. Moreover, it was not merely the father's telomere length that correlated with that of his offspring, but also his actual lifespan. But here, too, there was a sex-linked wrinkle. The correlation between paternal lifespan and children's telomere length applied only to daughters. Moreover, the age at which men and women became parents also influenced their offspring's average telomere length: the older the parents, the longer the offspring's telomeres..."

Beyond the curiosity of telomere length, I want to know what on earth are the Amish doing wrong? 71 years ave. lifespan... for "clean living." Time to hit the vino tinto more. Actually I'd love to find out why they live 7 yrs less than the average American.

Also there's an earlier study showing that children born to a young mother have the greatest chance of reaching 100. How to square these two studies? I have no idea.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Time to hit the vino tinto more.

Haha. They do, during Rumspringa!

My guess is they consume too many animal products, with a heavy emphasis on red meat and full-fat dairy.