For those of you out there who believe that the secret to long life lies only in genes, here's a new study that suggests you may not be 100 percent right because it's not just the longevity genes that influence the centenarians' exceptional lifespan.
Up until now, longevity has been associated with gene variants that offer a physiological advantage such as high levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. But the study conducted by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University, as part of 'Longevity Genes Project', has found that personality traits such as being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and having a good laugh as well as staying engaged in activities may also help account for longevity.
The study involved 243 centenarians, whose average age is 97.6 years, and of whom 75 percent were women. An assessment of the personalities of the 243 centenarians revealed that they had a positive attitude towards life.
According to the researchers, most of the centenarians were outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, social, expressed emotions openly rather than bottling them up and considered laughter an important part of life. Above all, the centenarians scored low on displaying neurotic personality and had higher scores for being conscientious compared with a representative sample of the U.S. population.
The study concludes 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."
The findings were published online May 21 in the journal Aging.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com