Niels van den Berg published a paper “Increasing number of long-lived ancestors marks a decade of healthspan extension and healthier metabolomics profiles” in Nature Communications in July 2023

Globally, the lifespan of populations increases but the healthspan is lagging behind. Previous research showed that survival into extreme ages (longevity) clusters in families as illustrated by the increasing lifespan of study participants with each additional long-lived family member. Here they investigate whether the healthspan in such families follows a similar quantitative pattern using three-generational data from two databases, LLS (Netherlands), and SEDD (Sweden). They study healthspan in 2143 families containing index persons with 26 follow-up years and two ancestral generations, comprising 17,539 persons. Their results provide strong evidence that an increasing number of long-lived ancestors associates with up to a decade of healthspan extension. Further evidence indicates that members of long-lived families have a delayed onset of medication use, multimorbidity and, in mid-life, healthier metabolomic profiles than their partners. They conclude that both lifespan and healthspan are quantitatively linked to ancestral longevity, making family data invaluable to identify protective mechanisms of multimorbidity.

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