Human longevity may be found in single individuals as well as in the population as a whole ("population longevity"). Longevity Blue Zones (LBZs), which are areas with an unusually high number of oldest old, have been identified in Sardinia and the Greek island of Ikaria. We compared the lifestyle, health status and some genetic markers of the LBZ populations with those of reference populations from Italy and Greece; the data were extracted from the GEHA database. In the LBZs, the proportion of individuals who never married or were married and still living with their spouse was significantly greater. Nonagenarians males and females with a high self- perception of optimism and/or a high score for self-rated health were also found in larger proportions in LBZs. Among the variables with lower frequency were the proportion of the widowed, the percentage of subjects who had suffered a stroke and the frequency of Apo epsilon 4 and Apo epsilon 2 and the TT genotype of FOXO3A gene. Compared to behavioral and health indicators, the impact of genetic factors might be relatively less important in the LBZs. Nevertheless, further research is needed to identify potential epigenetic traits that might play a predominant role due to the interaction between genetics and the human and physical environments.

Specific features of the oldest old from the Longevity Blue Zones in Ikaria and Sardinia

Passarino, Giuseppe;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Human longevity may be found in single individuals as well as in the population as a whole ("population longevity"). Longevity Blue Zones (LBZs), which are areas with an unusually high number of oldest old, have been identified in Sardinia and the Greek island of Ikaria. We compared the lifestyle, health status and some genetic markers of the LBZ populations with those of reference populations from Italy and Greece; the data were extracted from the GEHA database. In the LBZs, the proportion of individuals who never married or were married and still living with their spouse was significantly greater. Nonagenarians males and females with a high self- perception of optimism and/or a high score for self-rated health were also found in larger proportions in LBZs. Among the variables with lower frequency were the proportion of the widowed, the percentage of subjects who had suffered a stroke and the frequency of Apo epsilon 4 and Apo epsilon 2 and the TT genotype of FOXO3A gene. Compared to behavioral and health indicators, the impact of genetic factors might be relatively less important in the LBZs. Nevertheless, further research is needed to identify potential epigenetic traits that might play a predominant role due to the interaction between genetics and the human and physical environments.
2021
Behavioral factors
Genetic markers
Longevity Blue Zones
Nonagenarians
Population longevity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/349721
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