[Do children of long-lived parents age more successfully?].
INTRODUCTION: Long-lived individuals are rare and may be selected in part for the genetic factors that promote successful ageing. The children of long-lived parents may therefore age more successfully than the children of short-lived parents. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We used three major cross-sectional, population-based surveys to study the association of parental longevity with successful ageing in offspring. The measures of ageing were hand-grip strength, cognitive performance (mini mental state examination (MMSE) and a cognitive composite score), self-reported diseases, and self-rated health. RESULTS: For every additional ten years the parents lived, grip strength increased by 0.32 kg (95% CI = 0.00-0.63), the MMSE score by 0.20 points (95% CI = 0.03-0.37), and cognitive composite score by 0.24 points (95% CI = 0.07-0.40). A ten-year increment of parental life was associated with a reduction by approximately 0.20 in the adjusted OR for having each of the following conditions: diabetes, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, stroke, or fair, poor or very poor self-rated health. Almost all the effects were seen solely in the cohort of 70+ year-olds, but not in the middle-aged or nonagenarians. DISCUSSION: Parental life span is positively associated with physical and cognitive functioning and avoidance of some of the common chronic diseases. However, overall the effects are small and are seen in the elderly, but not in the middle-aged or the very old.
Frederiksen, H; McGue, M; Jeune, B; Gaist, D; Nybo, H; Skytthe, AE; Vaupel, JW; Christensen, K
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