Clinical Phenotype of Families with Longevity

Gil Atzmon, Clyde Schechter, William Greiner, Deborah Davidson, Gad Rennert, Nir Barzilai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether offspring of centenarians acquired protection from age-related diseases. DESIGN: Case-control study. SETTING: The study was part of the Longevity Genes Project at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. PARTICIPANTS: Centenarians (n = 145), offspring of centenarians (n = 180), and spouses of the offspring of centenarians (n = 75) as a control group. Two additional groups served as controls: age-matched Ashkenazi Jews, and an age-matched control group from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported family history of longevity; prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart attacks, and strokes; and objective measurements of body mass index and fat mass. RESULTS: Parents of centenarians (born in approximately 1870) had a markedly greater (∼sevenfold) "risk" for longevity (reaching ages 90-99), supporting the notion that genetics contributed to longevity in these families. The offspring of long-lived parents had significantly lower prevalence of hypertension (by 23%), diabetes mellitus (by 50%), heart attacks (by 60%), and strokes (no events reported) than several age-matched control groups. CONCLUSION: Offspring of centenarians may inherit significantly better health. The authors suggest that a cohort of these subjects and their spouses is ideal to study the phenotype and genotype of longevity and its interaction with the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-277
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular risks
  • Centenarians
  • Longevity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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