over 100 is optimism, genetic background
A new study on aging studied participants over 95 of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
Want to know the secret to living over 100? Researchers have long said “it’s in their genes.” But a new study from researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University have found that having a positive outlook on life may also play a big role. The findings, published online in the journal Aging, come from Einstein’s Longevity Genes Project, which studied over 500 Ashkenazi Jews over the age of 95 and 700 of their offspring.
CBS News reported according to the researchers, approximately 53,000 Americans are over 100 years old, which is about 0.2 per cent of the population.The study found being outgoing, enjoying laughter and staying engaged in activities was important for a long and healthy life. “We really were not sure what got them to their advanced age,” co-author Dr Nir Barzilai told US News and World Report’s HealthDay. “Was it their personality, or something more in their genetics?”“Our findings that these centenarians share such positive personality traits suggest that they may be associated with longevity,” he added.
CBS News also noted that Barzilai and his team found people over 100 are more than twice as likely to have a certain variant of a gene called CETP. That variant helps control cholesterol and fight dementia and could be the key to new future research in the area.