Study: If Your Parents Live Long, So Will You!

Mother Daughter

It is widely believed that the older we get, the more like our parents we become. Well, it appears that we don’t just pick up on their traits or looks – some of us also pick up their longevity.

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, an individual’s lifespan can increase by 17% for each decade that at least one parent lives past 70 years of age.

What’s more, researchers discovered that those who had well-aged parents had less of a chance of suffering from heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. These folks also had a lesser likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer.

Even if said parents were smokers, drinkers or someone considered obese, the researchers’ findings remained true.

In order to form their conclusions, researchers from the University of Exeter, University of Cambridge, the French National Institute of Health and the Indian Institute of Public Health followed 186,000 people aged 55-73 over the course of eight years, collecting and analyzing data along the way.

“To our knowledge, this is the largest study to show that the longer your parents live, the more likely you are to remain healthy in your sixties and seventies,” commented the study’s Lead Author, Dr. Janice Atkins of the University of Exeter Medical School. “Asking about parents’ longevity could help us predict our likelihood of aging well and developing conditions such as heart disease, in order to identify patients at higher or lower risk in time to treat them appropriately.”

This is encouraging news, but definitely not enough of a reason to slack off in terms of leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

-Adam Grant

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