Those rare souls who live to be 110 or older turn out to have a secret weapon: genetic makeup that helps protect them from disease, a new study reveals.
Researchers at Boston University Medical Center say they have analyzed the genome sequences of a man and woman who lived past 114. These ‘supercentenarians,’ researchers found, had as many disease-associated genes as other people, but also likely have longevity-associated genes that cancel out the disease genes.
“That effect may extend to the point that the diseases don’t occur – or, if they do, are much less pathogenic or markedly delayed,” said senior study author Dr. Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study.
The study findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Genetics.