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Centenarian Offspring as a Model of Successful Ageing

Chapter

Abstract

The rapid increase in global average life expectancy, observed during the last years, due to improvements in sanitation and medical care, pushes the scientific community to understand the basis of the ageing process. In particular, in order to improve the life quality of elderly people, current ageing research is focused on the identification of biological mechanisms involved in successful ageing, a complex process influenced by several factors, including genetic, environment, and lifestyle. Centenarians, i.e., subjects who have reached ten or more decades of life, escaping the common age-related diseases, are the leading exponent of successful ageing. However, the rarity of such exponents, their frailty, and the absence of an age-matched control group limit the study of this population. Consequently, gerontological research shifts its attention to the offspring of centenarians, a perfect quid pro quo, because they show a very healthy status and a good cardiovascular and immunological profile, like their parents. Unlike the centenarians, they are a large group and can be studied by comparison with age-matched controls to perform accurate investigations on genetic and environmental determinants of healthy ageing and long survival. Several of these features are summarized in this chapter, highlighting the importance of centenarian offspring as a model for understanding determinant factors for exceptional longevity.

Keywords

Ageing Centenarian offspring Determinant factors Longevity Successful ageing 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Immunopathology and Immunosenescence, Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced DiagnosticsUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences of Children and AdultUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly

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