New Developments in Aging & Longevity Research
We are pleased to share with you our new article on aging and longevity, just published in print by peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Here is the full reference to the article for future possible citations:
New Developments in the Biodemography of Aging and Longevity
Leonid A. Gavrilov, Natalia S. Gavrilova
Gerontology (Karger), 2015, 61(4): 364-371
DOI: 10.1159/000369011, PMID: 25531147
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-- Leonid and Natalia
-- Leonid Gavrilov, Ph.D., GSA Fellow
-- Natalia Gavrilova, Ph.D., GSA Fellow
Center on Aging, NORC at the University of Chicago
Biodemography is a promising scientific approach based on using demographic data and methods for getting insights into biological mechanisms of observed processes. Recently, new important developments have happened in biodemographic studies of aging and longevity that call into question conventional aging theories and open up novel research directions.
Recent studies found that the exponential increase of the mortality risk with age (the famous Gompertz law) continues even at extreme old ages in humans, rats, and mice, thus challenging traditional views about old-age mortality deceleration, mortality leveling-off, and late-life mortality plateaus. This new finding represents a challenge to many aging theories, including the evolutionary theory that explains senescence by a declining force of natural selection with age. Innovative ideas are needed to explain why exactly the same exponential pattern of mortality growth is observed not only at reproductive ages, but also at very-old postreproductive ages (up to 106 years), long after the force of natural selection becomes negligible (when there is no room for its further decline).
Another important recent development is the discovery of long-term 'memory' for early-life experiences in longevity determination. Siblings born to young mothers have significantly higher chances to live up to 100 years, and this new finding, confirmed by two independent research groups, calls for its explanation. As recent studies found, even the place and season of birth matter for human longevity.
Beneficial longevity effects of young maternal age are observed only when children of the same parents are compared, while the maternal age effect often could not be detected in across-families studies, presumably being masked by between-family variation.
It was also found that male gender of centenarian has a significant positive effect on the survival of adult male biological relatives (brothers and fathers) but not of female relatives.
Finally, large gender differences are found in longevity determinants for males and females, suggesting a higher importance of occupation history for male centenarians as well as a higher importance of home environment history for female centenarians.