Lifestyle Choices Matter

A brief summary of recent research into risk factors for disease and human longevity: "A set of currently known alleles increasing the risk for coronary artery disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes as identified by genome-wide association studies was tested for compatibility with human longevity. Here, we show that nonagenarian siblings from long-lived families and singletons older than 85 [years] of age from the general population carry the same number of disease risk alleles as young controls. Longevity in this study population is not compromised by the cumulative effect of this set of risk alleles for common disease." The way in which you choose to lead your life is a more important determinant - for example, being sedentary and fat raises your risk of suffering the common diseases of aging far more than most known genetic variants. It is true that there are many gene variants associated with exceptional human longevity, but it still seems to be the case that environment and choice trumps small variations in your biology.


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