Health & Fitness

Offspring of Centenarians-people who live to 100- are less likely to be frail due to genetic footprint

Kristen Sparrow • June 30, 2022

This finding, that offspring of centenarians are less likely to be frail, makes intuitive sense.  People often refer to their parents “they lived to 90, so I will too” kind of reasoning.  And there certainly seems to be some validity to it.  When smoking was more of a problems than it is now, that was a key factor in whether you would match your parents’ longevity for good or ill.

But I like this terminology of compression of morbidity. It’s a concise way of saying that what the real end goal is to have a long life where the disabilities and illnesses are compressed at the tail end of life.  To live 10 extra years in an unhappy way or severely disabled, is not optimal.  Of course, we don’t have total control, but there are some things we can do.  In the book I’m finishing up, I’ll give some tips.  None will be new to my readers.  Ancient acupuncturists always had the goal of fostering longevity in their patients.  I want that for my patients too!  And for myself, of course.   A

Inglés, Marta & Varea, Ángel & Serna, Eva & Mas-Bargues, Cristina & Tarazona-Santabalbina, Francisco & Borras, Consuelo & Vina, Jose. (2022). Functional transcriptomic analysis of centenarians’ offspring reveals a specific genetic footprint that may explain that they are less frail than age-matched non-centenarians’ offspring. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A. 10.1093/gerona/glac119.

Centenarians exhibit extreme longevity and compression of morbidity and display a unique genetic signature. Centenarians’ offspring seem to inherit centenarians’ compression of morbidity, as measured by lower rates of age-related pathologies. We aimed to ascertain whether centenarians’ offspring are less frail and whether they are endowed with a “centenarian genetic footprint” in a case-control study, matched 1:1 for gender, age ±5 years, and place of birth and residence. Cases must have a living parent aged 97 years or older, aged 65-80 years, community-dwelling, not suffering from a terminal illness, or less than 6 months of life expectancy. Controls had to meet the same criteria as cases except for the age of death of their parents (not older than 89 years). Centenarians were individuals 97 years or older. Frailty phenotype was determined by Fried’s Criteria. We collected plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 63 centenarians, 88 centenarians’ offspring, and 88 non-centenarians’ offspring. miRNA expression and mRNA profiles were performed by the GeneChip miRNA 4.0 Array (Thermo Fisher Scientific) and GeneChip Clariom S Human Array (Thermo Fisher Scientific), respectively. We found a lower incidence of frailty among centenarians’ offspring when compared to their contemporaries’ non- centenarians’ offspring (p <0.01). Both miRNA and mRNA expression patterns in centenarians’ offspring were more like those of centenarians than those of non-centenarians’ offspring (p <0.01). in conclusion, centenarians’ offspring are less frail than age-matched non-centenarians’ offspring, and this may be explained by their unique genetic endowment.