While the search for genetic contributors to exceptional longevity has yielded candidates, gender differences in inheritance have generally not been considered. The aim of this study was to investigate gender specific differences in the inheritance of exceptional longevity. Using a standardized questionnaire, we assessed the parental ages of death of Ashkenazi Jews with exceptional longevity and their spouses without exceptional longevity, who served as controls (n=1,114). Mothers of centenarian males and females had significantly longer lifespans compared to the mothers of noncentenarians, 79.0 ± 13.4 vs. 73.0 ± 16.3 years, p<0.01 and 75.7 ± 15.8 vs. 70.5 ± 18.0 years, p=0.02, respectively. There was also a trend toward longer lifespan among the fathers of centenarian men compared to the lifespan of fathers of noncentenarian men, 73.5 ± 17.0 vs. 69.5 ±15.0 years, p=0.07. The lifespan did not differ between the fathers of centenarian and non-centenarian daughters. Logistic regression models revealed that the odds of being a centenarian for the female and male offspring increased by 21% and 31%, respectively, for every additional 10 years of life achieved by the mother (p<0.05). These findings support a gender-specific inheritance pattern of human longevity and may help focus the search for longevity genes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology