Monday, April 17, 2006

Younger Moms' Kids Get Longevity Edge

See also:
What is Aging?      Theories of Aging      Population Aging


I am pleased to learn that today the "Forbes" has published a story about new research findings of our study "Childhood Conditions and Exceptional Longevity":

"Younger Moms' Kids Get Longevity Edge"
Forbes -- April 17, 2006

April 17, 2006

Younger Moms' Kids Get Longevity Edge

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Society's oldest members are most likely to be born to its youngest mothers, new research suggests.

The odds of living to 100 and beyond double when a person is born to a woman under 25 years of age, compared to those people born to older mothers, according to one of the most rigorous studies on the subject yet conducted.

The finding may also help clear up a statistical mystery -- three years ago, the same husband-and-wife team of researchers found that being the first-born child in a family also boosted longevity, although no one knew why.

"It turns out that the whole phenomenon of first-born order and longevity is driven by young maternal age," said study co-author Leonid Gavrilov, a research associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago.

In other words, he said, first-born children are simply more likely than their siblings to have been born when mom was in her teens or early 20s.

The study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Society of Actuaries, was presented recently at the Population Association of America annual meeting, in Los Angeles.

As nutrition and health care continue to improve, so too does the number of Americans whose years extend into the triple-digits.

"Certainly there were more [centenarians] in the 2000 census than there were in 1990, and most people think this population will grow," said Georgeanne Patmios, acting chief of the Population and Social Processes Branch of the NIA's Behavioral and Social Research Program.

According to the Census Bureau, there were 37,000 Americans aged 100 years or older in 1990, and by 2000 that population had risen to 55,000. According to experts, women are three to five times more likely to live beyond 100 than men.

But what other factors encourage "extreme" old age? Previous research by Gavrilov and his wife/co-researcher, Natalia Gavrilova, has uncovered some clues. For example, in research published over the past few years, they found that U.S. centenarians were more likely to come from farming families in the Midwest than from any other demographic.

They also discovered that being the first-born in a family meant a lot, boosting the odds of making it to 100 by nearly 80 percent.

"But nobody knew why that was -- sometimes in research you get answers, but you also get new questions," Gavrilov said.

So, he and his wife set out to solve that puzzle. They selected 198 centenarians from across the United States, checking and double-checking their ages using every form of documentation available. Comparing the centenarians' histories to those of their siblings, the researchers then analyzed the data to help explain the "first-born effect."

One theory -- that first-born children might have been relatively protected from pediatric illness because they weren't surrounded by disease-bearing siblings in infancy -- didn't pan out. "We found that even at age 75 it still matters that one is first-born," Gavrilov said. "It's a late-life phenomenon."

A second theory -- that first-born kids reaped the benefit of a relatively young, strong and productive father -- also fell flat. "We got the very clear result that the father's age wasn't important," the Chicago researcher said.

That wasn't the case for mothers. In fact, statistical analysis revealed that young maternal age at birth completely accounted for the first-born effect.

"It is very rare in science that you have such clear-cut results. But here, when we saw the results, we went 'Wow,'" Gavrilov said. Overall, children born to an under-25 mother had double the odds of living to 100 and beyond, compared to offspring of women who delivered at a later age.

So, why do young moms tend to bear more long-lived children? "At this point all we have is hypotheses," Gavrilov said. "One is biological -- that maybe the eggs are different in their quality, and the best ones, the most vigorous eggs, go first to fertilization."

He said his wife Natalia came up with a competing theory: That young moms haven't had time to pick up the latent, chronic infections that might in some way impede the long-term health of their offspring. "This might interfere with normal development," Gavrilov said. "So, when the children are born they are superficially healthy but maybe they are not really strong enough to survive to 100."

Patmios said the question of why younger mothers might bear more resilient offspring remains "open, but it's worthy of additional research." She stressed that it has proven extremely tough to get in-depth, reliable data for events that happened over a century ago. "There are a lot of other factors that probably contribute to exceptional longevity which, given the dataset that Dr. Gavrilov has to use, he can't assess," she said.

And what about the longevity of children born to today's moms, who are often postponing first pregnancy to their 30s or even 40s? According to Gavrilov, advances in diet and health care mean American newborns still have a better chance of living out a century than their great-grandparents did.

"The data shows that there is a steady increase in living to age 100, despite the fact that women are tending to postpone their childbearing years," he said.

More information

For more on extreme longevity, visit the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

SOURCES: Leonid Gavrilov, Ph.D., Center on Aging, University of Chicago; Georgeanne Patmios, O.D., acting chief, Population and Social Processes Branch of the Behavioral and Social Research Program, U.S. National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Md.; March 30-April 1, 2006, presentation, Population Association of America annual meeting, Los Angeles


This story was reprinted at:

"A Baby Boon"
Forbes, -- Monday, Apr 17, 2006

"Younger Moms' Kids Get Longevity Edge"
Medline Plus -- Monday April 17 2006

"Younger Moms' Kids Get Longevity Edge"
Health Finder -- Monday April 17 2006
A Service of the National Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

"Younger Moms' Kids Get Longevity Edge" -- Monday April 17 2006
National Women's Health Information Center
US Department of Human Health and Human Services

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"Living to 100 and Beyond" International Symposium

See also:
What is Aging?      Theories of Aging      Population Aging


I am pleased to inform you that a new International Scientific Symposium "Living to 100 and Beyond" is planned now by the Society of Actuaries for January 2008 in Florida, USA. The proceedings of a previous symposium are available at:

The Organizing Committee is now looking for additional participating organizations interested to co-sponsor this Symposium. The program of the previous Symposium included 26 presentations of leading researchers from 12 countries (England, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Taiwan, Philippines, China, Japan, and the United States), see:

Please let me know if you are interested that your organization become a co-sponsor for this Symposium.

Thank you!

Kind regards,

-- Leonid Gavrilov, PhD

P.S.: Here is some additional information, from the Society of Actuaries (SOA), which may help to make a decision:

"The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is organizing a follow-up to its successful 2005 Living to 100 and Beyond Symposium tentatively scheduled for January 7-9, 2008 in Orlando, Florida USA. We are seeking your organization's assistance in publicizing and/or sponsoring this event and would like you to become a participating organization for this symposium.

This international symposium will focus on methodology for developing more accurate estimates of advanced age survival rates and the consequences of lengthening lifetimes. To ensure the success of this symposium, we need to encourage leading researchers to produce and present papers at the symposium. The attached draft Call For Papers provides information on subjects to be covered. Your organization would receive three main benefits by joining us as a participating organization.

Benefits To Your Organization And Its Members

1. Exposure of your organization as a participating organization for this event to SOA membership and the membership of other participating organizations including publicity in the Call for Papers, symposium materials and news releases for the media;

2. A discounted registration fee for your organization's membership; and

3. Increased recognition of your organization's position as a leader in mortality research.

Here's How To Become A Participating Organization

Your organization may participate in the symposium in one or more of the following ways that are consistent with your resources and level of interest:

* Promote the Call For Papers and Symposium.

* Provide high age mortality data from experience studies compiled by your organization.

* Contribute funding for travel grants and honoraria for symposium presenters.

We appreciate your organization's consideration of this important research opportunity and request your response by April 17. We are looking forward to a productive collaboration in this endeavor."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

54 Scientists' Open Letter on Aging Research

See also:
What is Aging?      Theories of Aging      Population Aging


Scientists' Open Letter on Aging Research

To whom it may concern,

Aging has been slowed and healthy lifespan prolonged in many disparate animal models (C. elegans, Drosophila, Ames dwarf mice, etc.). Thus, assuming there are common fundamental mechanisms, it should also be possible to slow aging in humans.

Greater knowledge about aging should bring better management of the debilitating pathologies associated with aging, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer's. Therapies targeted at the fundamental mechanisms of aging will be instrumental in counteracting these age-related pathologies.

Therefore, this letter is a call to action for greater funding and research into both the underlying mechanisms of aging and methods for its postponement. Such research may yield dividends far greater than equal efforts to combat the age-related diseases themselves. As the mechanisms of aging are increasingly understood, increasingly effective interventions can be developed that will help prolong the healthy and productive lifespans of a great many people.

Sincerely (54 Signatories),

Signatures From Leading Aging Researchers

Prof. Vladimir N. Anisimov
Head of the Department of Carcinogenesis and Oncogerontology, N.N. Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, Russia; Author of Carcinogenesis and Aging and of Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms of Aging. [04/18/2005]

Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D.
Professor University of California, Berkeley, Senior Scientist
Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute; U.S. National Medal of Science; Research in delaying the mitochondrial decay of aging. [04/25/05]

Robert Arking, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University; Research focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying the onset of senescence in Drosophila; Author of Biology of Aging: Observations and Principles. [10/15/05]

Steven N. Austad, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Idaho; Author of Why We Age: What Science Is Discovering about the Body's Journey Through Life and numerous other aging research publications. [04/17/05]

Nir Barzilai, M.D.
Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Author of numerous aging research publications; Founder of the Longevity Genes Project. [04/17/05]
Brian F.C. Clark, Ph.D., ScD.
CoFounder of Senetek PLC, Professor of Biostructural Chemistry, Aarhus University, Denmark, Centre Leader of the Danish Centre of Molecular Gerontology. [09/28/05]

Antonei B. Csoka, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Magee-Womens Research Institute; Research led to the discovery of the gene that causes Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome. [04/18/05]

Richard G. Cutler, Ph.D,
Vice President of Kronos Science Laboratories, Inc., Longevity Sciences Group; founder of Genox Corporation; Proposed and tested the Longevity Determinant Gene Hypothesis the Dysdifferentiation Hypothesis of Aging and the oxidative stress as a primary mechanism of aging model. [04/18/05]

Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey, Ph.D.
Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Founder of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) approach to anti-aging medicine; Editor-in-chief of Rejuvenation Research. [04/11/05]

Joгo Pedro de Magalhгes, Ph.D.
Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Namur in Belgium; Postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School; Author of a number of publications on aging; Designed and implemented the Human Ageing Genomic Resources. [04/6/05]

Joseph M. Erwin, Ph.D.
Independent Consultant and Executive Director, Foundation for Comparative & Conservation Biology; Adjunct Professor, Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology and VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech; Senior Fellow, Center for Conservation and Behavior at Georgia Tech; Co-editor of Aging In Nonhuman Primates. [04/17/05]

Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D.
Center on Aging, NORC at the University of Chicago, Chicago; Author of The Biology of Life Span; Founder of the Reliability Theory of Aging. [04/6/05]

Natalia S. Gavrilova, Ph.D.

Center on Aging, NORC at the University of Chicago, Chicago; Co-author of The Biology of Life Span; Author of over a hundred scientific publications on aging and longevity studies. [04/18/05]

David Gems, Ph.D.
UCL Centre for Research on Ageing, Department of Biology, University College London; Author of numerous aging research publications. [04/17/05]

David Gershon, Ph.D.
Skillman Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Chief Science Officer, Redox Pharmaceutical Corp. [04/18/05]

Christopher B. Heward, Ph.D.
Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Arizona; Senior Research Fellow in the UCLA Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society; President of Kronos Science Laboratories, Inc. [04/4/05]
Matt Kaeberlein, Ph.D.
Ph.D. in Biology from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Faculty member, The Basic Biology of Aging at the University of Washington; Co-founder, Longenity Inc. [04/18/05]

Alexander V. Khalyavkin, Ph.D.
Academic Secretary, Gerontological Society of RAS, Moscow Branch; Academic Secretary, Problem Committee "Physiology & Biology of Aging", Joint Scientific Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and Health Ministry; Author of the concept an organism's non-senescence due to vital regimens, evoked by positive environmental influences or artificial cues. [04/19/05]

Marios Kyriazis, M.D.
M.D. from the Univerisity of Rome; MSc in Gerontology from the University of London, King's College; President of the British Longevity Society; Author of Carnosine: And Other Elixirs of Youth. [04/18/05]

Don A. Kleinsek, Ph.D.
Received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in Physiological Chemistry. President and founder of GeriGene Medical Corporation, in Madison, Wisc. GeriGene's mission is to stop the aging process. [10/13/05]

Peter M. Lansdorp M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia; Senior Scientist Terry Fox Laboratory, B.C. Cancer Research Center; major focus of research on genetic instability in aging and cancer, publications. [09/30/05]

Marc S. Lewis, Ph.D.
Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in Clinical Psychology. Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin of Clinical Psychology. Research is focused on the interface of molecular biology and epidemiology with an emphasis on the molecular biology of aging. [06/12/05]

Valter Longo, Ph.D.
Professor and researcher at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Biological Science, Cell Biology and genetics, regulation of aging and multiple stress resistance systems in yeast and mammals, Alzheimer's Disease. [09/28/05]

Alvaro Macieira-Coelho, M.D.
Director at the French National Institute of Health (INSERM) in France; Author of numerous books on aging such as Biology of Aging: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology, Cell Immortalization and Cancer and Aging. [04/17/05]

George M. Martin, M.D.
Professor Emeritus of Pathology, University of Washington. [04/10/05]

Brian J. Morris, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Medical Sciences in the School of Medical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Sydney; has over 230 publications; research focusing on the alteration in genome-wide expression profiles during ageing of human cells. [10/116/05]

S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D.
Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois; Co-author with Bruce Carnes of The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging. [04/21/05]

Suresh Rattan, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Professor, Danish Centre for Molecular Gerontology, Department of Molecular Biology, University of Aarhus, Denmark; Editor-in-Chief Biogerontology; Editor of Aging Interventions and Therapies; Research areas and expertise: cellular aging, hormesis (mild stress-mediated aging interventions); gerontogenes." [09/28/05]

Robert J. Shmookler Reis, Ph.D.
Professor, Depts. of Geriatrics, Medicine, Biochemistry & Molec.Biol., and Pharmacology; University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Career Health Scientist, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare Service. [09/28/05]

Karl T. Riabowol, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Director of the Laboratory of Aging and Immortalization, University of Calgary; Member, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging Advisory Board; extensive publications on aging research. [04/17/05]

Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D.
Director, Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.[04/10/17]

Michael R. Rose, Ph.D.
Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the School of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine; Author of Evolutionary Biology of Aging. [04/5/05]

Stanley Shostak, Ph.D.
Department Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh; Author Becoming Immortal: Combining Cloning and Stem-Cell Therapy and a number of other aging research publications. [09/26/05]

Rafal Smigrodzki, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Clinical Officer, Gencia Company; Charlottesville VA, publications on aging and genetics research [5/24/05]

Michael D. West, Ph.D.
Founder of Geron Corporation; Director of Biotime, Inc., BioMarker Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the Life Extension Foundation; President of Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.; Author of The Immortal Cell: One Scientist's Quest to Solve the Mystery of Human Aging. [04/18/05]

Prof. Jan Vijg
Principal investigator at the Functional Genomics of Aging research program which is located at the South Texas Center for Biology in Medicine at the Texas Research Park. It is part of the Sam and Ann Barshop Center for Longevity and Aging Studies. [04/21/05]

Prof. Thomas von Zglinicki
Professor of Cellular Gerontology, University of Newcastle;
Henry Wellcome Laboratory for Biogerontology, Newcastle General Hospital; extensive publications on aging and telomere research. [04/17/05]

For more details, please see: