Women whose mothers live to the ripe old age of 90 are 25% more likely to reach the same milestone
Why your mother’s age could be the key to longevity: Women whose mothers live to the ripe old age of 90 are 25% more likely to reach the same milestone birthday
- Researcher tracked the lifespan of 22,000 postmenopausal women for the study
- Scientists at University of California, San Diego, say genetics may play a key role
- They also say behaviours passed onto younger generations may explain the link
They often say ‘like father like son’ – but when it comes to longevity, like mother like daughter is more accurate.
Women whose mothers live to the ripe old age of 90 are more likely to reach the same milestone – and be in good health.
Scientists have unearthed data that shows daughters are a quarter more likely to become a nonagenarian, if their mother was one.
They are less likely to suffer from serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and hip fractures, the study also found.
However, the longevity effect and good health benefits do not seem to exist if a woman’s father celebrated his 90th birthday.
But if both parents lived to 90, the likelihood of their daughter achieving a long life with good health jumps to 38 per cent.
Scientists have unearthed data that shows daughters are a quarter more likely to become a nonagenarian, if their mother was also one
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, believe genetics may play a key role.
Yet they also speculate that healthy behaviours passed onto younger generations could explain the link they found.
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A team of researchers, led by Dr Aladdin Shadyab, tracked the lifespan of 22,000 postmenopausal women to make the conclusion.
The original data, collected every year since 1993, is used to investigate major risk factors for chronic diseases among women.
CAN WALKING FASTER HELP YOU LIVE LONGER?
Older people who walk at a brisk pace are half as likely to die from a heart attack or stroke as those who dawdle, according to a study published in June.
For all walkers aged 30 and over, a fast or average speed – 3mph – cut the risk of death from any cause by more than 20 per cent over a 15-year period.
The likelihood of dying specifically from a stroke or heart attack among all participants fell by a similar amount, according to Australian and British scientists.
Although walking faster improved heart health among people of all ages, it had the greatest effect among the over-60s.
But the new findings, published in the journal Age and Ageing, suggest having parents who reach 90 could offer protection.
The women in the study whose mothers lived to at least 90 were also more likely to be college graduates, married with high incomes and exercised regularly while eating a healthy diet.
Dr Shadyab said: ‘Our results show not only did these women live to age 90, but they also aged well by avoiding major diseases and disabilities.
‘It’s not just about the number of candles on the cake.
‘These women were independent and could do daily activities like bathing, walking, climbing a flight of stairs or participating in hobbies they love, like golf, without limitations.’
Dr Shadyab called for further trials to examine why the link they uncovered exists, as they could only speculate on the reason behind it.
He added: ‘Although we can’t determine our genes, our study shows the importance of passing on healthy behaviors to our children.
‘Certain lifestyle choices (such as adopting a healthy diet and exercising more) can determine healthy aging from generation to generation.’
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