Association of exceptional parental longevity and physical function in aging

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17 Scopus citations


Offspring of parents with exceptional longevity (OPEL), who are more likely to carry longevity-associated genotypes, may age more successfully than offspring of parents with usual survival (OPUS). Maintenance of physical function is a key attribute of successful aging. While many genetic and non-genetic factors interact to determine physical phenotype in aging, examination of the contribution of exceptional parental longevity to physical function in aging is limited. The LonGenity study recruited a relatively genetically homogenous cohort of Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) adults age 65 and older, who were defined as either OPEL (having at least one parent who lived to age 95 or older) or OPUS (neither parent survived to age 95). Subjective and objective measures of physical function were compared between the two groups, accounting for potential confounders. Of the 893 LonGenity subjects, 365 were OPEL and 528 were OPUS. OPEL had better objective and subjective measures of physical function than OPUS, especially on unipedal stance (p =0.009) and gait speed (p =0.002). Results support the protective role of exceptional parental longevity in preventing decline in physical function, possibly via genetic mechanisms that should be further explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9677
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Longevity
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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