A German study has found that a gene credited with long life in people of Japanese origin can also be found in Europeans. The research was conducted at Germany's Kiel University where 388 Germans who were over 100 years old had their genetic makeup compared with 731 younger individuals. The researchers found that a variant of the gene FOXO3A occurred very frequently in the older group.
The results of the German study were published online by the "Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences" (PNAS) in the United States.
Professor Almut Nebel, head of the research group stated, "This discovery is of particular importance because Japanese and Europeans are relatively different genetically. Now we can assume that this gene plays a role worldwide in living longer."
Dr. Friederike Flachsbart, who is the first author of the report, stated, “The most difficult problem is to get enough old people, especially those aged 100 or more, to take part in such a study. Interestingly, the genetic effects are much more evident in 100-year-olds than in 95-year-olds”.
The findings of the German study confirms an earlier U.S. study conducted in September 2008 where scientists examined the genes of 3,741 long lived Americans of Japanese origin and came to the same conclusion. The American study was led by Bradley J. Willcox and was also published in PNAS.
Nebel commented on the previous study, stating, “That published result is only of scientific value if it can be confirmed in a study with an independently chosen sample population. Without that there must still remain a tinge of doubt. We have now eliminated that uncertainty about the connection between FOXO3A and longevity."
quote: Maybe those Americans of Japanese origin had one parent of European origin? :D
quote: Life expectancy in Europe has been steadily climbing, and reached an average of 78.6 years for men who were 50 in 2005, and 83.5 years for women.The gap between nations with the shortest and longest average lifespan was 9.1 years for men (71.3 in Lativa compared to 80.4 in Italy), and a narrower 6.1 years for women (79.3 in Latvia and 85.4 in France).What has remained unclear, however, was how many of these added years were spent in good -- and potentially productive -- health.Sifting though national and European statistics, a team of researchers led by Carol Jagger at the University of Leicester in Britain found huge gaps across the continent.On average, a 50-year-old man from Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden or Malta will live well past 70 without disability or the need to limit his activities -- ten extra years of healthy life compared to his neighbours in Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia and Lithuania.The highest average age is 73.6 in Denmark, and the lowest 59.0 in Estonia.http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/1226881022.59/
quote: Life expectancy for U.S. residents increased to a record 77.6 years and mortality rates for most leading causes of death declined in 2003.According to the report, average life expectancy for U.S. residents in 2003 increased by nearly four months from an average of 77.3 years in 2002.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/20557.php
quote: Residents of cities that ranked high in curbing air pollution like Pittsburg and Buffalo had 10 months added on the average life span. As a result the average life span on an American today is 2.72 years longer compared to 20 years ago.http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7013799177