Assisted Living: Is There a Correlation Between Genetics and Longevity?
The anti-aging industry is booming and shows no sign of slowing down; in fact, it’s estimated to be worth $331 billion by 2021. Every year seems to bring another bizarre fad thought to prolong the lifespan, like getting blood transfusions from young people.
While most of us won’t do anything quite so extreme, health trends like wheatgrass shots are certainly popular. But is there a point? Can we really influence how long we live – or is it based on genetics and out of our control?
As a senior living community in Los Angeles, Melrose Gardens stays up to date with the latest research on aging. In this article, we’ll examine the relationship between genetics and longevity.
Can we control longevity?
The answer is yes, we can – to an extent. A study out of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University found that people who live into their 90s and 100s don’t have healthier habits than anyone else; rather, they have protective genes that help ward off common age-related illnesses.
That doesn’t mean you should give up living healthy, though; lifestyle choices and environmental factors play a role, too. For example, Seventh-Day Adventists live 8 years longer than the average American. Adventists are known to exercise often, follow a vegetarian diet, and abstain from smoking and alcohol.
Even if you lack the so-called protective genes, there are many habits that are associated with a happier and longer life, including:
Studies indicate that a youthful mentality is associated with better health and a longer lifespan, possibly because a negative perception of aging can lead to unhealthy choices. To encourage a more youthful attitude, doctors recommend frequently challenging yourself to try new things, practice mindfulness, and develop a sense of purpose.
The science is clear: people who have close, warm relationships with friends and family live longer, and loneliness is a significant health risk.
Being generous and providing support and assistance to others is associated with a happier and longer life.
While genetic factors are out of our control, research shows that genes aren’t the only thing influencing how long we live – and scientists are constantly looking for new ways to extend the lifespan. In the meantime, there are plenty of good reasons to pursue a healthy lifestyle. After all, the goal isn’t really to live forever, but rather to live a healthy and happy life for as long as possible.
Melrose Gardens is committed to creating a vibrant and dynamic retirement community, and we believe in good health and vitality at any age. To find out more about our senior living community or to schedule a tour, click here.