How much of the natural human variation in longevity and pace of aging has its roots in genetics, and how much is determined by lifestyle and environment? Some gene variants result in beneficial metabolic alterations such as lower cholesterol or a greater resilience in the face of the molecular damage of late old age. Lifestyle choices such as calorie intake and exercise clearly influence long term health and mortality. Similarly, exposure to pathogens and pollutants can accelerate the pace of aging via their interaction with the immune system. The consensus of the past few decades had come to be that the split is around 25% due to gene variants versus 75% due to choice and environmental factors.
Large vaults of familial history data have been created since the advent of the internet, one of the many consequences of ubiquitous, low-cost channels of communication. Data of all varieties is more easily collected, stored, and analyzed. More rigorous analysis of this historical data of human lineages is now suggesting that the genetic contribution to longevity is much smaller than thought. The study here can be compared with a similar effort published
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