10 more years: Key to a Longer LifeSpan in Male DNA Found

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Researchers recently found that a genetic mutation may add about 10 years to men’s life spans.
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A common genetic mutation is linked to an increase in life span of about 10 years among men, researchers reported on Friday.

The mutation, described in the journal Science Advances, did not seem to have any effect on women. Still, it joins a short list of gene variants shown to influence human longevity.....

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Heredity clearly plays a modest role in how long people live. For example, a number of studies have shown that identical twins, who share the same genes, tend to have more similar life spans than fraternal twins.

In a 2001 study of Amish farmers in Pennsylvania, researchers found that close relatives were more likely to live to similar ages than distant ones.

The impact of heredity on life span has turned out to be about as big as its influence on developing high blood pressure. But large-scale surveys of people’s DNA have revealed few genes with a clear influence on longevity......

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About a quarter of people have a mutation in the gene for growth hormone receptors — a chunk of DNA is missing.

People with this mutation can make working receptors, but their shape is slightly different. Studies in the mid-2000s suggested that this mutation might make children short.

The link between height and longevity led Dr. Atzmon and his colleagues to wonder if it might also influence how long people lived.

The researchers sequenced the gene for growth hormone receptors in 567 Ashkenazi Jews over 60 and their children, whom Dr. Barzilai had been studying for years.

The mutation, they found, was present in 12 percent of the men over age 100. That rate was about three times higher than in 70-year-old men.

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They had expected that long-lived men with the mutation would be short. However, just the opposite turned out to be true: The mutation seemed to raise men’s height by about an inch.

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Men with a mutation in their growth hormone receptor may put more resources into repairing their bodies, thus slowing the aging process.


In recent years, some doctors have prescribed growth hormone to patients to restore youth and give them strength. Dr. Barzilai said the new study suggests that keeping growth hormone levels low may actually be a better strategy for living longer. Its not far from reality.

This is an excerpt; read the full and origial post: Scientists Discover a Key to a Longer Life in Male DNA

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