Genes key to living into old age

Scientists in the US have claimed that living beyond the age of 100 is largely down to genetic factors and those who cut back on everyday indulgences are often doing little to boost their chances of reaching their century.

According to a study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, a group of 477 elderly Ashkenazi Jews were found to have genes which were crucial to their long lives.

"Although this study demonstrates that centenarians can be obese, smoke and avoid exercise, those lifestyle habits are not good choices for most of us who do not have a family history of longevity," said Professor Nil Barzilai of the college's Institute of Ageing Research.

More than 500 individuals aged between 95 and 109 were compared with 3,000 others born during the same era. Those who survived well into old age were found to live broadly similar lifestyles to their shorter-lived counterparts.

Earlier this week, nutrition consultant Charlotte Stirling-Reed urged parents to ensure their children eat healthily from an early age.

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Genes key to living into old age
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