What is it that lets some people live to age 100 and beyond? A new study from the ongoing New England Centenarian Study suggests that protective genes may make a big contribution.
In what the researchers describe as the first study of its kind, they analyzed and deciphered the entire genetic codes of a man and a woman who lived past the age of 114. The two so-called supercentenarians had:
- DNA that appeared to be very similar to people who did not have long lives
- about the same number of gene variants linked to increased disease risk as seen in people from the general population whose genomes have been sequenced
- more than 50 possible longevity-associated variants in genes, some of which were unexpected and had not been seen before.