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Biodemography of Human Longevity: New Findings and Ideas. Dr. Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D. Dr. Natalia S. Gavrilova, Ph.D. Center on Aging NORC and The University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois, USA. Approach.
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Dr. Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D.
Dr. Natalia S. Gavrilova, Ph.D.
Center on Aging
NORC and The University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA
To study “success stories” in long-term avoidance of fatal diseases (survival to 100 years) and factors correlated with this remarkable survival success
Yet, factors predicting exceptional longevity and its time trends remain to be fully understood
In this study we explored the new opportunities provided by the ongoing revolution in information technology, computer science and Internet expansion to explore early-childhood predictors of exceptional longevity
Jeanne Calment (1875-1997)
Over 75 millions of computerized genealogical records are available onlinenow!
Computerized genealogies is a promising source of information about potential predictors of exceptional longevity: life-course events, early-life conditions and family history of longevity
For longevity studies the genealogies with detailed birth dates and death dates for long-lived individuals (centenarians) and their relatives are of particular interest
In this study 1,001 genealogy records for centenarians born in 1875-1899 were collected and used for further age validation
Social Security Administration Death Master File is publicly available at the Rootsweb website: http://ssdi.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi
Head of household indexes and census page images for 1900, 1920 and 1910 federal censuses are provided by Genealogy.com
Individual indexes of enumerated persons by 1900, 1920 and 1930 federal censuses and census page images are provided by Ancestry.com
Cases - 198 Centenarians born in U.S. in 1890-1893
Controls – Their own siblings
Method: Conditional logistic regression
Advantage: Allows researchers to eliminate confounding effects of between-family variation
To split data in two equal parts by median family size (9 children) and re-analyze the data in each group separately.
Odds ratio = 2.23, P=0.004; 95%CI = 1.30 - 3.98
Odds ratio = 1.72, P=0.11; 95%CI = 0.88 - 3.34
"Young mother effect" is not confined to extremely large family size
The favorable "Young Mother Effect" is particularly strong when parents have particularly large differences in their lifespan
Tarin et al., Delayed Motherhood Decreases Life Expectancy of Mouse Offspring.
Biology of Reproduction 2005 72: 1336-1343.
A study of height and build of centenarians when they were young using WWI civil draft registration cards
Height seems to be a good indicator of nutritional status and infectious disease history in the past.
Historical studies showed a negative correlation between height and longevity.
Hence we may expect that centenarians were taller than average
Slender build may suggest a poor nutrition during childhood. We may expect that centenarians were less likely to be slender when young.
On the other hand, biological studies suggest that rapid growth may be harmful and somewhat delayed maturation may be beneficial for longevity.
Social Security Administration Death Master File
WWI civil draft registration cards (completed for almost 100 percent men born between 1873 and 1900)
Cases: men centenarians born in 1887 (randomly selected from the SSA Death Master File) and linked to the WWI civil draft records. Out of 120 selected men, 19 were not eligible for draft. The linkage success for remaining 101 records was 75% (76 records)
Controls: men matched on birth year, race and county of WWI civil draft registration
The study of height and build among men born in 1887 suggests that rapid growth and overweight at young adult age (30 years) might be harmful for attaining longevity
This study was made possible thanks to:
generous support from the National Institute on Aging and the Society of Actuaries
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