24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
2 Hours/Week in Nature: Your Prescription for Better Health?Eating More Red Meat May Shorten Your LifeScared Safe: Pics of Sun's Damage to Face Boost Sunscreen UseFoods May Taste Better If You're SittingShould Air Quality Checks Be Part of Your Travel Planning?Guard Your Skin Against the Summer SunGetting Your Nutrients: From the Source or Supplements?Human Endurance May Have Its Limits: StudyThe Dangers of Being a People-PleaserFinancial Disaster May Prompt Self-Destructive BehaviorHow Much Coffee Is Too Much?Do You Really Need 10,000 Steps a Day?Worry Less for Better HealthCan the Bacteria in Your Belly Ease Your Worrying Mind?AHA News: Need a Break? A Vacation Really Can Be Good for You -- If It's Done RightHealthy Food May Boost MoodAre DIY Sunscreens Dangerous?Millennials Believe 'Narcissist' Label, But Don't Like ItMore Back-to-Back Heat Waves Will Come With Climate ChangeBody Adapts, Recovers From Occasional 'Pigging Out,' Study FindsCBD -- It's Everywhere, But Does It Work?Stay Safe While Spring CleaningCover Up! Don't Soak Up Those Sun RaysWant to Save Money While Shopping? Leave Your Phone HomeThree Ways to Improve Focus and ConcentrationSunscreen Chemicals Enter Bloodstream at Potentially Unsafe Levels: StudyCould You Be Short on Vitamin B12?How to Tame Morning ChaosTailoring Exercise to Your AgeSchool Bullying's Impact Can Last a Lifetime: StudyWellness Programs Take Hold in American WorkplacesAmericans Sitting More Than Ever, and Tech Is to BlameVeggies, Fruits and Grains Keep Your Heart PumpingSkipping Breakfast Could Be a Bad Move for Your HeartMany 'Gen Xers' Desolate as They Navigate Adulthood: StudyHow to Make Your Workplace a Healthier OneEmbracing 'Oneness' Boosts Satisfaction With Life: StudyAre Workplace Wellness Programs Worth It?Common Sleep Myths Endanger Public HealthGet Back to Nature to Put Stress at BayScience Says: Smiling Does Bring a Mood BoostIs Your Smartphone Making You Fat?Those Whitening Strips May Damage Your TeethDietary Supplements Do Nothing for You: StudyVoice-Assisted Tech Can Be a Driving HazardWhen Using Moisturizers With Sunscreen, Don't Miss Around the EyesKindness: 12 Minutes to a Better MoodWhy Holding a Grudge Is Bad for Your HealthMove More, Live LongerDo You Live in One of America's 'Healthiest Communities'?
Links
Related Topics

Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management

Think Genes Dictate Your Life Span? Think Again

HealthDay News
by By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Nov 6th 2018

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Nov. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your life partner has a much greater influence on your longevity than the genes you inherited from your family, according to a new analysis of the family trees of more than 400 million people.

"While it is a widely held belief that life span heritability ranges from approximately 15 to 30 percent, the findings discussed in this paper demonstrated that the heritability of human longevity is likely well below 10 percent," said lead researcher Cathy Ball. She is chief scientific officer for Ancestry, the popular genealogy website.

Earlier estimates were skewed because they didn't account for the strong influence that a person's spouse or life partner can have on their longevity, Ball and her colleagues said.

People tend to select partners who share traits like their own, the researchers explained. If you have a lifestyle that's going to contribute to a longer life, you'll likely choose a mate who shares that lifestyle.

Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein is a geriatrician with Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. She said, "Chances are you're going to try to partner with someone with equal interests in terms of health habits. If you find someone who wants to run a marathon with you rather than be a couch potato, chances are you'll keep running more marathons."

Wealth could be another nongenetic trait shared by mates, the researchers suggested. If income contributes to life span and wealthy people tend to marry other wealthy people, that could also add to their longevity.

After correcting for the effects of such mating, Ball's team concluded that genetics contributes not more than 7 percent to longevity, and possibly even less.

"The research findings expose the complex dynamics of longevity," Ball said. "Although there is a genetic component, this study shows that there is a major impact from many other forces in your life."

For the study, researchers combed through 54 million public family trees generated by Ancestry.com subscribers, which represented 6 billion ancestors.

From there, the team refined the records until they wound up with a set of human pedigrees that included more than 400 million people, each connected to another by either birth or marriage.

Things got interesting when the researchers started looking at people related only by marriage. They found that siblings-in-law and first-cousins-in-law had similar life spans, even though they aren't blood relatives and generally don't live under the same roof.

Further analysis showed that factors important to life span tend to be very similar between mates. People are choosing folks who share values that will either shorten or extend longevity, the researchers noted.

The findings were published Nov. 6 in the journal Genetics.

"I think it's a very optimistic and positive message for us," said Wolf-Klein, who was not involved in the research.

"It outlines something that's becoming more and more obvious to all of us -- we have a certain control over who we are and what we become," she added. "Regardless of your genetics, if you adhere to good diet, good exercise, healthy habits, you can overcome some of the dooms of genetics."

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about longevity and genetics.