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12 Apr 2022

People married into long-lived families share lower risk of type II diabetes

By Mischa Dijkstra, Frontiers science writer New study within the US Long Life Family Study identifies biomarkers characteristic for people born in – or married into – families with exceptionally long-lived members. Both groups also have a reduced risk of developing type II diabetes. Sharing the household and lifestyle of children of long-lived parents might lead to these marked health benefits for spouses, but it’s also possible that people tend to pick their partners through ‘assortative mating’, matching phenotypes and genotypes for healthy aging and longevity. What makes some people predisposed to live and remain healthy much longer than others? That some persons reach an exceptional age has been recorded throughout history. It’s tempting to write down such outliers as only the result of environment and behavior: for example, better-than-average nutrition, medical care, childcare practises, and hygiene, not to mention luck. But as average life expectancy continues to increase worldwide due to overall improvements in these and other factors, it’s becoming clear that exceptional longevity and healthy aging tend to run in families. This suggests that genetic differences also play a role in assuring lifespan and life-long good health. Prof Iva Miljkovic from the School of Public Health at the […]