Recently, the study of centenarians has gained widespread recognition due to their potential to shed light on the secrets of aging and longevity. While many researchers have focused on this unique group of individuals, a recent study published in GeroScience stands out for its comprehensive analysis of biomarkers in people who live past 90.

Unlike previous studies, which often focused on specific demographics, this research included data from 44,000 Swedes who underwent health assessments between the ages of 64 and 99. The study followed these participants for up to 35 years, with 1,224 individuals reaching the age of 100. Among the centenarians, the majority were female, comprising 85% of the group.

Twelve blood-based biomarkers related to inflammation, metabolism, liver and kidney function, malnutrition, and anaemia were included in the study. These biomarkers, such as total cholesterol, glucose, and uric acid, have been previously associated with aging and mortality. Notably, individuals who reached 100 tended to have lower levels of glucose, creatinine, and uric acid from their sixties onwards, indicating potential longevity-related patterns.

The study revealed that all but two of the 12 biomarkers analyzed were linked to the likelihood of becoming a centenarian. Lower levels of total cholesterol and iron were associated with a higher chance of reaching 100, while higher levels of glucose, creatinine, uric acid, and liver function markers decreased this likelihood. Despite some biomarkers showing only small differences in absolute terms, the overall findings suggest a potential connection between metabolic health, nutrition, and exceptional longevity.

While the study does not definitively identify the lifestyle factors or genes responsible for these biomarker values, it highlights the importance of monitoring kidney and liver function, glucose, and uric acid levels as individuals age. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and moderate alcohol intake, may also play a role in promoting longevity. However, the study indicates that chance may also influence reaching an exceptional age. Nonetheless, the observed differences in biomarkers long before death suggest that genes and lifestyle choices could potentially impact longevity.

The study’s findings contribute valuable insights into the biomarkers associated with living past 90. By understanding the complex interplay between genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors, researchers can continue to unravel the mystery of aging and longevity. The potential link between metabolic health, nutrition, and exceptional longevity provides compelling avenues for further research and emphasizes the importance of proactive health monitoring as individuals age.

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