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Longevity

Cholesterol Gene Linked to Longevity

20 years, 8 months ago

9039  0
Posted on Nov 11, 2003, 12 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers have found evidence to suggest that a gene that helps to determine the size of cholesterol molecules in the blood may also promote longevity by protecting people from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other age-related diseases. Nir Barzilai of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and colleagues studied long-living Ashkenazi Jewish men and women.

Researchers have found evidence to suggest that a gene that helps to determine the size of cholesterol molecules in the blood may also promote longevity by protecting people from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other age-related diseases. Nir Barzilai of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and colleagues studied long-living Ashkenazi Jewish men and women. The average age among the seniors studied was 98, and more than half of the 213 seniors studied were centenarians. As well as looking at the seniors, the researchers also studied 216 of their adult children. Results showed that the centenarians were three times more likely than the general population to possess a genetic mutation that alters an enzyme involved in regulating the size of blood lipids. The mutation causes blood lipids, such as so-called "good" HDL and "bad" LDL cholesterol particles to be larger than normal. It is thought that large LDL cholesterol particles have difficulty in penetrating the arterial wall, thus making it less likely that they will build up and develop into artery-clogging arterial plaques. The researchers also found that families that carried the mutation also tended to have higher HDL cholesterol levels.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 15th October 2003.

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