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Old 03-23-2015, 10:39 AM   #41
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I once worked for a guy who ran a 50-mile race. We all told him he was nuts. He's in his late 30s; I wonder what shape he'll be in 20 years from now if he keeps that up.
Chalk it all up to individual differences.
I have a friend who recently signed up for a 50 mile race, and he's in his 70s. He also did back to back (Saturday/Sunday) marathons last year. He does at least ten marathons a year, and has for years.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:05 AM   #42
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So for those of us that have family history of longevity, this could be bad news; while those of us with shorter family longevity, it might be good news. My family is a mixed bag, so who knows.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:22 AM   #43
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Tinkering with the formula is irresistible.
This study focuses on a new class of drugs designed to clear the accumulation of immortal 'senescent' cells associated with aging. Pairing cancer drug, dasatnib, with antioxodant quercetin achieved "remarkable" results with a single dose.

Scripps Research, Mayo Clinic Scientists Find New Class of Drugs that Dramatically Increases Healthy Lifespan
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:46 AM   #44
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Tinkering with the formula is irresistible.
This study focuses on a new class of drugs designed to clear the accumulation of immortal 'senescent' cells associated with aging. Pairing cancer drug, dasatnib, with antioxodant quercetin achieved "remarkable" results with a single dose.

Scripps Research, Mayo Clinic Scientists Find New Class of Drugs that Dramatically Increases Healthy Lifespan
Wow, this sure sounds promising. Imagine, lessening frailty and increasing cardiovascular ability in old age.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:54 PM   #45
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Coincidentally, I just finished reading Being Mortal yesterday (a really good book). I was also surprised by the longevity and family history percentage given.

But, I think when you factor in all the things that affect how long you live then I can see it. It isn't by the way just that people sometimes die of accidents. I can see that many deaths may be due to illnesses that are not really related that much to family history.

We think of family history as affecting things like heart disease. But, what about the person who dies of the flu? I would think that family history wouldn't be all that relevant.

Also, bear in mind that some people may take "good" family history as a reason not to be concerned about certain things and may take "bad" family history as a reason to be concerned. My husband's father had heart disease (before 60) and died of a heart attack (mid-70s). DH has always been very aware of that and he has been careful to do things to avoid coronary problems. Imagine someone with no family history of heart disease. That person may not be so careful. In fact, that person may be over-confident and feel they don't have to do anything to try to avoid heart disease and may live a less healthy lifestyle.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:25 PM   #46
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Coincidentally, I just finished reading Being Mortal yesterday (a really good book). I was also surprised by the longevity and family history percentage given.

But, I think when you factor in all the things that affect how long you live then I can see it. It isn't by the way just that people sometimes die of accidents. I can see that many deaths may be due to illnesses that are not really related that much to family history.

We think of family history as affecting things like heart disease. But, what about the person who dies of the flu? I would think that family history wouldn't be all that relevant.

Also, bear in mind that some people may take "good" family history as a reason not to be concerned about certain things and may take "bad" family history as a reason to be concerned. My husband's father had heart disease (before 60) and died of a heart attack (mid-70s). DH has always been very aware of that and he has been careful to do things to avoid coronary problems. Imagine someone with no family history of heart disease. That person may not be so careful. In fact, that person may be over-confident and feel they don't have to do anything to try to avoid heart disease and may live a less healthy lifestyle.
That is such a good and valid comment. Heredity and environment are, I think, trumped by the influence of sheer luck or chance. People may die unexpectedly soon or late, despite all probabilities.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:45 PM   #47
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My DS's MIL shared with us the fact that no one in her family lived much into their 70s and that she didn't expect a long life. She is about 67 now, quite a bit more than chubby, and has a long list of health issues. I suspect she is managing her choices based on her expectations.
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:18 PM   #48
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A few interesting quotes from the book "Supercentenarians', co-authored by James Vaupel. PDF version here -

MPIDR - Supercentenarians

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The record holder in longevity is still the French woman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122. The book "Supercentenarians" celebrates her life - how she met the painter Vincent van Gogh when she was 13, how she later allowed herself one glass of port and one cigarette a day, and how she liked good food and wine, including cakes and chocolate, which she ate every day.
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Chris Mortensen’s long life is also detailed in the book. Born in Denmark, he died at 115 in the United States. Still the record holder as the world’s oldest living man, at his advanced age he still smoked cigars.
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So far the only thing for certain is that being a woman is clearly advantageous, since ninety percent of those celebrating their 115th birthday were women. Having ancestors who lived exceptionally long played as little a role as economic background and half of the supercentenarians had no children.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:12 PM   #49
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My family is a mixed bag, so who knows.
Mine too! Oh, we were talking about longevity...
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:37 PM   #50
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Longevity is definitely not a trait in my family history. I can only find one Uncle that made it into his 80s. Most males (including my father) have checked out in their early 70s, others died in accidents...
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:57 PM   #51
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If you use your family longevity to plan your retirement savings spend-down you will live to be 100.
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:43 PM   #52
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Along with the nature/nurture argument, the second part of understanding and accepting theories on longevity comes from evaluating statistical significance.

Statistical significance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

While hating the subject when I studied it some 60 years ago, it generated a cynicism that has helped in sorting out theory from fact.

It's usually possible to find a study somewhere that affirms our expectations... but sampling size and other factors matter. ie... is a 500 sample size significant?
http://www.einstein.yu.edu/centers/a...genes-project/


So, starting with simple logic, check the source and then look to the best acepted standards. Government studies, Wikipedia, CIA Factbook, NIH, and the prominent (in this case) health websites.

Biggest danger is knowing what we know.

Hmmm.. yeah, numbers is hard.
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:54 PM   #53
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Here's my personal theory despite having no real professional/scientific background on the matter:

The Spanish Flu of 1914 wiped out the weaklings. 20 million of them in a few months. The survivors went on through the 20th century and created an unusually long lived population coupled to offspring who were similarly robust.

We all know of people (grandparent's era) who smoked, drank and abused themselves but lived to their mid-90s and now parents who are going strong and playing tennis in their 80's.

By the third generation, (Boomers) a more diluted robustness returned through a number of natural genetic degradations --not all, but more people are weaker than others-- at the same time as medical science coupled to healthier living has found ways to off set those weaknesses.

As a result, I wonder if what we view longevity today is merely a fluky remnant of a disastrous 'filter' that occurred 100 years ago as we return to a more diverse set of strong/weak set of population.

Sorry, I don't mean for this to be so black and white --because it isn't--but more of an incomplete set of musings.....(late in the day and after my first Mart)
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:31 PM   #54
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If you dig a bit, you'll find that just the opposite happened with the Spanish flu...those with the strongest immune system were the ones that died!!
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:19 AM   #55
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If you dig a bit, you'll find that just the opposite happened with the Spanish flu...those with the strongest immune system were the ones that died!!
Interesting. So the ones with more immunity to flu died from the flu?

Can you steer me to some info on that? I wonder how were they able to measure immune system strength a century ago? I would like to read up on that.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:43 AM   #56
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Scientists Uncover Why Spanish Flu So Deadly


The Spanish Flu was more deadly to people in their middle years, as opposed to children and elderly, further supporting the fact that those with robust immune systems died.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:28 AM   #57
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Scientists Uncover Why Spanish Flu So Deadly


The Spanish Flu was more deadly to people in their middle years, as opposed to children and elderly, further supporting the fact that those with robust immune systems died.
Well, there goes my theory.
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:09 PM   #58
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The longevity inheritance question is interesting in a statistical sense.

But what about real life where I'm only interested in a sample size of one, i.e. me?
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:02 PM   #59
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Heh, heh, all this talk of longevity and medical histories, etc. reminds me of a story. DW went to ER with (what turned out to be) acute gastritis. The admitting thought maybe heart attack at first. As they were administering pain meds, they were taking DWs medical history. DOC "Any history of heart disease in your family?" DW (in a frail, voice) "My grandma died of heart failure." DOC "How old was she?" DW (even more frail now due to meds) "94." DOC (mouthing to the nurse) "No heart history." I almost had to leave the room to stifle an otherwise inappropriate laugh.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:42 PM   #60
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The longevity inheritance question is interesting in a statistical sense.

But what about real life where I'm only interested in a sample size of one, i.e. me?
Some people look at longevity of their ancestors for some hope. Even that is now flaky, according to the expert quoted in the original post.

And then, of course, even if there's some tendency to inherit good health from ancestors, one may just be so unlucky to fall into a 2 or 3-sigma case where statistics do not apply.

We keep reading about people inheriting genes causing predisposition to diseases such as certain cancer. That is very true. So, bad genes can be inherited, but good longevity genes are not? Life can be so cruel, you know?
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