‘Personality Genes’ May Help Account for Longevity
It’s in their genes” is a common refrain from scientists when asked about factors that allow centenarians to reach age 100 and beyond. Up until now, research has focused on genetic variations that offer a physiological advantage such as high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. But researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University have found that personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities may also be part of the longevity genes mix….
“When I started working with centenarians, I thought we’d find that they survived so long in part because they were mean and ornery,” said Nir Barzilai, M.D., the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, director of Einstein’s Institute for Aging Research and co-corresponding author of the study. “But when we assessed the personalities of these 243 centenarians, we found qualities that clearly reflect a positive attitude towards life. Most were outgoing, optimistic and easygoing. They considered laughter an important part of life and had a large social network. They expressed emotions openly rather than bottling them up.” In addition, the centenarians had lower scores for displaying neurotic personality and higher scores for being conscientious compared with a representative sample of the U.S. population.
“Some evidence indicates that personality can change between the ages of 70 and 100, so we don’t know whether our centenarians have maintained their personality traits across their entire lifespans,” continued Dr. Barzilai. “Nevertheless, our findings suggest that centenarians share particular personality traits and that genetically-based aspects of personality may play an important role in achieving both good health and exceptional longevity.”..
- Do You Have What it Takes to Live to 100? (health.usnews.com)
- The Search For Longevity Genes (extremelongevity.net)
- The mystery of longevity (news.nationalpost.com)
- Clue to centenarians’ longevity lies in Mediterranean diet (mnn.com)
- The How and Why of 100 Years of Happiness (psychologytoday.com)
- The How and Why of 100 Years of Happiness (my.psychologytoday.com)
- Two New Longevity Genes Discovered (extremelongevity.net)
- Turn on Your Longevity Genes (lewrockwell.com)
- MORE ON LONGEVITY: Telomerase Gene Therapy Boosts Mouse Longevity. “This is an interesting result … (pjmedia.com)
- Angiotensin Receptor Gene Variant Linked to Extreme Longevity (extremelongevity.net)
- Telomerase Gene Therapy Boosts Mouse Longevity (futurepundit.com)
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