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Predicting how long we will live based on family tree
Old 07-05-2016, 07:09 AM   #1
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Predicting how long we will live based on family tree

I found this pretty interesting since I had been assuming that family history was a good predictor for longevity.

This is an older article but it says that isn't a great predictor for most of us. Apparently there is a small population of very long lived families with a genetic component.

“How tall your parents are compared to the average height explains 80 to 90 percent of how tall you are compared to the average person,” Dr. Vaupel said. But “only 3 percent of how long you live compared to the average person can be explained by how long your parents lived.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/he...1age.html?_r=0




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Old 07-05-2016, 07:16 AM   #2
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Gotta love the Internet - where you can find credible, convincing articles to support almost any point of view.

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Although a healthy lifestyle and environmental factors can promote longevity, a new genome-wide survey has ID'd genes strongly associated with living beyond the century mark
Live Long and Proper: Genetic Factors Associated with Increased Longevity Identified - Scientific American
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:47 AM   #3
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A family history of longevity is a decent guide, but there are a lot of other factors.

If you smoke, you will not make it much past 70 unless you are very lucky. Being in better shape, or worse shape than your relatives makes a large difference. And if you work on tall buildings, or live in a dangerous neighborhood, you may have a smaller chance of a long life.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Senator View Post
A family history of longevity is a decent guide, but there are a lot of other factors.

If you smoke, you will not make it much past 70 unless you are very lucky. Being in better shape, or worse shape than your relatives makes a large difference. And if you work on tall buildings, or live in a dangerous neighborhood, you may have a smaller chance of a long life.
Agreed, but only 3% due to family/genes? The Scientific American article claimed 20 to 30% due to genes - seems more likely based on families I've known...
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Originally Posted by Scientific American
A person's life span is thought to be largely determined by the combined effects of genetics and environmental factors. Twin studies, however, suggest genetics only account for approximately 20 to 30 percent of an individual's chance of surviving to age 85.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:52 AM   #5
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how much life insurance underwriting does has purported Dr done or studied?
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:04 AM   #6
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Genetics may actually be a decent predictor of 'potential' for longevity. Unfortunately, for most of the human race, life (or Death) gets in the way.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:14 AM   #7
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If you smoke, you will not make it much past 70 unless you are very lucky.
Probably depends a lot on how long and how much you have smoked. I know a number of folks that still smoke and are past 70. I probably know as many who died before 70 that didn't smoke. My great grandfather was over 100 when he died and he smoked into his mid 90's. (So I was told)

No doubt smoking isn't good for anyone and probably will shorten lifespans of most that smoke. I know that's why I quit over 35 years ago. (btw, I still miss them)
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:30 AM   #8
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If you smoke, you will not make it much past 70 unless you are very lucky.
That's not true, actually. Smoking certainly reduces lifespan, but there are many smokers who make it to much older ages. For example, my mother died at age 91 having smoked all her adult life. Had she not smoked, she might well have made it to 100, as some of her relatives did.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:31 AM   #9
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That's not true, actually. Smoking certainly reduces lifespan, but there are many smokers who make it to much older ages. For example, my mother died at age 91 having smoked all her adult life. Had she not smoked, she might well have made it to 100, as some of her relatives did.
next door neighbor is 86 and has been smoking 2 packs a day for 70 years


smokers and non-smokers have separate mortality tables - it's bimodal


so yes, smokers can live to the tail of their probability distribution
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:40 AM   #10
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Ah, the old question, "Nature vs Nurture" .

The family tree is what scares me the most and parents and a sibling didn't live to a long old age. But then again, I'm more conscientious of living healthier than they did and, like many I think in my generation, was fortunate in a better environment. So, once again, "Nature vs Nurture".

Still a part of me thinks all the healthy living will go for naught in my lifespan.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:23 AM   #11
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Well, as long as we're posting anecdotes, the three others of my immediate family all were smokers. DM died of lung cancer at 70, DF died of emphysema at 76, and DB died of lung cancer at 68.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:45 AM   #12
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Longevity has repeatedly been linked--through many research studies--to lifestyle, as in diet and exercise. One of many takeaways I recall from reading "The Real Age Makeover" (as in internal, physiological makeover) was that genes are not a major factor.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:03 AM   #13
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I think enjoying your life contributes a great deal to longevity.

We used to have a neighbor who always had a smile on his face and clearly enjoyed his completely sedentary lifestyle. Every morning he would walk a couple of blocks to the bus stop and get on his regular bus to downtown. Once he arrived, he would buy a couple of newspapers on the corner and walk over to his office, which was in a tall office building. He maintained the office just to read his papers and use the phone to talk to friends. Around lunchtime, he would go to any of several downtown restaurants for lunch, then take the bus back home.

He did this until he was 101 years old, and you never saw a more contented guy.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:04 AM   #14
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My Dad lived to 95
My Mom lived to 57
My Bro lived to 68
My cousin lived to 74
His brother lived to 96

Can you see the pattern?

Neither can I!
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
My Dad lived to 95
My Mom lived to 57
My Bro lived to 68
My cousin lived to 74
His brother lived to 96

Can you see the pattern?

Neither can I!
You left out the family dog. Once we have that, the pattern should be obvious.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
My Dad lived to 95
My Mom lived to 57
My Bro lived to 68
My cousin lived to 74
His brother lived to 96

Can you see the pattern?

Neither can I!
Absolutely. They all died between 57 and 96. Or an average of 78 which is "pretty close" (within 1/2 yr) of normal/average life expectancy according to WHO in the top 75 countries. Pretty darn close for such a small sample group.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
My Dad lived to 95
My Mom lived to 57
My Bro lived to 68
My cousin lived to 74
His brother lived to 96

Can you see the pattern?

Neither can I!
Clear as day. They're all deceased. My prediction is you will fit that same pattern, exactly. For that matter, so will I. Does that mean we're related in some way?
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
My Dad lived to 95
My Mom lived to 57
My Bro lived to 68
My cousin lived to 74
His brother lived to 96

Can you see the pattern?

Neither can I!
take the arithmetic or geometric average, your call.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:59 AM   #19
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Ironically, when I retired in 2002, I took a few longevity tests which predicted about 91 as a life expectancy. Taking the +- 8 years bell curve, I built the plan to last until 99 as a "worst" case.

Now I am spending the money and to hell with longevity. I feel like I passed my "best before" date about 2 years ago!
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbahop View Post
I found this pretty interesting since I had been assuming that family history was a good predictor for longevity.

This is an older article but it says that isn't a great predictor for most of us. Apparently there is a small population of very long lived families with a genetic component.

“How tall your parents are compared to the average height explains 80 to 90 percent of how tall you are compared to the average person,” Dr. Vaupel said. But “only 3 percent of how long you live compared to the average person can be explained by how long your parents lived.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/he...1age.html?_r=0
I ran across the same info in the book Being Mortal (2014) by Atul Gawande, and started a thread here: Is Longevity Inherited?

Lots of discussions, but we were all left scratching our head.
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