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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Sep;57(9):1634-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02381.x. Epub 2009 Jul 17.

Nonagenarian siblings and their offspring display lower risk of mortality and morbidity than sporadic nonagenarians: The Leiden Longevity Study.

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  • 1Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Centre, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. r.g.j.westendorp@lumc.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare the risk of mortality of nonagenarian siblings with that of sporadic nonagenarians (not selected on having a nonagenarian sibling) and to compare the prevalence of morbidity in their offspring with that of the offsprings' partners.

DESIGN:

Longitudinal (mortality risk) and cross-sectional (disease prevalence).

SETTING:

Nationwide sample.

PARTICIPANTS:

The Leiden Longevity Study consists of 991 nonagenarian siblings derived from 420 Caucasian families, 1,365 of their offspring, and 621 of the offsprings' partners. In the Leiden 85-plus Study, 599 subjects aged 85 were included, of whom 275 attained the age of 90 (sporadic nonagenarians).

MEASUREMENTS:

All nonagenarian siblings and sporadic nonagenarians were followed for mortality (with a mean+/-standard deviation follow-up time of 2.7+/-1.4 years and 3.0+/-1.5 years, respectively). Information on medical history and medication use was collected for offspring and their partners.

RESULTS:

Nonagenarian siblings had a 41% lower risk of mortality (P<.001) than sporadic nonagenarians. The offspring of nonagenarian siblings had a lower prevalence of myocardial infarction (2.4% vs 4.1%, P=.03), hypertension (23.0% vs 27.5%, P=.01), diabetes mellitus (4.4% vs 7.6%, P=.004), and use of cardiovascular medication (23.0% vs 28.9%, P=.003) than their partners.

CONCLUSION:

The lower mortality rate of nonagenarian siblings and lower prevalence of morbidity in their middle-aged offspring reinforce the notion that resilience against disease and death have similar underlying biology that is determined by genetic or familial factors.

PMID:
19682117
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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