Offspring with longer-living parents likely live longer

London, Aug 17 (IANS) People who have got longer-living parents are likely to have much better heart condition, less chances of cancer and more likely to live longer, said a study by researchers including from Indian Institute of Public Health.

The team found that those with longer lived parents had lower incidence of multiple circulatory conditions including heart disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and atrial fibrillation.

The researchers used data on the health of 186,000 middle-aged offspring, aged 55 to 73 years, and followed over a period of eight years and found that chances of survival of an individual increased by 17 per cent for each decade whose one parent lived beyond the age of 70.

Although factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, low physical activity and obesity were important, the lifespan of parents was still predictive of disease onset after accounting for these risks.

“Asking about parents’ longevity could help us predict our likelihood of ageing well and developing conditions such as heart disease, in order to identify patients at higher or lower risk in time to treat them appropriately,” Janice Atkins, researcher at the University of Exeter Medical School, said.

The current study is built on previous findings which established a genetic link between parents’ longevity and heart disease risk.

“This work helps us identify genetic variations explaining the better health of people with longer-lived parents. We prominently found genetic factors linked to blood pressure, cholesterol levels and smoking, which underlines how important these avoidable and treatable risks are,” said Luke Pilling, researcher at the University of Exeter Medical School.

The study stated that while avoiding the well-known risk factors such as smoking is very important, there are also other factors inherited from parents and understanding those parental factors better can help people to age well.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.



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