We hypothesized that the children of centenarians (c-children) age more slowly and delay, if not escape, age-related diseases. We compared 177 c-children and 166 controls -- offspring of parents who were born in the same years as the centenarians but at least one of whom died at age 73, the average life expectancy for that cohort.
The two groups did not differ in age, gender, mean age of other parent (age 77), race, marital status, income, exercise, and alcohol use. The proportion of people who reported ever smoking was the same for both groups; however, more controls were current smokers (7% versus 13%). The c-children were more functional as measured by an IADL questionnaire (p=0.003) and had more years of education: 36% of c-children had >16 years of education versus 22% of the controls(p
A multivariate analysis that controlled for age, years of education, annual income, IADL score, ethnicity, marital status, exercise, smoking, and alcohol use revealed a 56% reduced risk of heart disease (CHD), a 59% reduced risk of diabetes(DM) and a 66% reduced risk of hypertension (HTN) in the c-children compared to controls. For the c-children who did report HTN, the age of onset was delayed when compared to controls (p
In conclusion, the c-children appear to delay AND escape age-related diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. Currently we are in the process of measuring levels of serum biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease. We anticipate presenting these new findings at this meeting.