The concept of living to be 100 years old was once considered a rarity, but it has now become increasingly common. This demographic group is growing at a rapid rate, doubling every decade since the 1970s. Questions about how long humans can live and what factors contribute to a long and healthy life have intrigued individuals for centuries. Plato and Aristotle discussed the process of aging over 2,300 years ago, highlighting the ongoing interest in unraveling the secrets behind exceptional longevity.

A recent study published in GeroScience examined common biomarkers, including cholesterol and glucose levels, in individuals who live past the age of 90. Centenarians and nonagenarians have sparked the interest of researchers as they offer valuable insights into the aging process and how to achieve an extended lifespan. Previous studies on centenarians have been limited in scope, often excluding individuals living in care homes. However, this study stands out as the largest comparison of biomarker profiles in exceptionally long-lived people and their shorter-lived counterparts.

Research Findings

The study analyzed data from 44,000 Swedes who underwent health assessments between the ages of 64 to 99. This sample from the Amoris cohort was followed for up to 35 years, with 2.7% of participants living to be 100 years old. The majority of centenarians were female, with 12 blood-based biomarkers related to inflammation, metabolism, liver and kidney function, malnutrition, and anemia included in the analysis.

Impact of Biomarkers on Longevity

Individuals who reached their 100th birthday tended to exhibit lower levels of glucose, creatinine, and uric acid from their sixties onwards. While median values did not significantly differ between centenarians and non-centenarians for most biomarkers, centenarians displayed moderate levels, avoiding extremes. Certain biomarkers, such as total cholesterol, iron, glucose, creatinine, uric acid, and liver function markers, were linked to the likelihood of reaching 100 years.

The study highlights a potential connection between metabolic health, nutrition, and exceptional longevity. While lifestyle factors and genes may also influence biomarker values, monitoring kidney and liver function, glucose, and uric acid as individuals age could offer insights into overall health and potential longevity. Although chance may play a role in reaching 100 years old, observing differences in biomarkers long before death suggests a broader relationship between genetics, lifestyle, and aging.

Health

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