People whose parents have lived long are likely to have fewer heart diseases and stay healthy in their sixties and seventies, according to a British study involving nearly 190,000 participants.
The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also suggested that knowing the age when parents died may help predict the risk of heart disease and related conditions in their children. Furthermore, children of long-lived parents had lower risk of cancer.
Researchers arrived at the conclusion after examining the health data of 186,000 offspring aged between 55 and 73 years. The findings suggested survival chances shot up by 17 percent and the risk of dying from heart conditions fell 20 percent for each decade that at least one parent lived beyond the age of 70 years. Also, the offspring of long-living parents had 7 percent less chances of developing cancer.
The eight-year follow-up research also suggested that children of long-lived parents showed lower incidences of multiple circulatory conditions including heart disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and atrial fibrillation.
Moreover, the researchers said that lifespan of parents can also predict disease onset after accounting for factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, low physical activity and obesity.
“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,” Janice Atkins, lead author of the study, said in a statement. “Asking about parents’ longevity could help us predict our likelihood of ageing well and developing conditions such as heart disease, in order to identify patients at higher or lower risk in time to treat them appropriately.”
The study was based on prior findings published by researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School earlier this year which found a genetic link between parents’ longevity and the risk of heart disease in their children.