Those under 110 years need not apply

Edmonton Journal reports on the work of the Supercentenarian Research Foundation, which studies an elite group of seniors who have lived to be at least 110-years-old. 

The research foundation has identified and validated the birth dates of 76 living supercentenarians around the world. It’s a challenging task because detailed birth records were not always kept at the turn of the 20th century and can easily get lost over the course of a hundred years. The foundation has run into several cases where someone has falsely claimed to be part of the supercentenarian club.

It is difficult to conduct statistically significant research with just 76 subjects, but the anecdotal evidence seems to confirm what many have-long suspected: living a long life probably has more to do with genetics than lifestyle.

“One of the biggest predictors of living for a long time is having grandparents and parents who lived for a long time,” Platika said.

Some supercentenarians have claimed their longevity is due to consuming two glasses of wine per day, while others have attributed their longevity to a teetotalling lifestyle. Still others have even admitted to being daily smokers.

What the supercentenarians have in common is that they do not have diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or cancer, which kill the majority of the population. The supercentenarians’ longevity is a “side-effect” of not dying from these common diseases, Platika said.

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