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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

You’re 20 per cent less likely to suffer heart disease if your parents made it to their 80s
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

You’re 20 per cent less likely to suffer heart disease if your parents made it to their 80s image

We all know we’re more likely to live longer if we have good genes—but now researchers have put some numbers to it. For each decade your parents made it past their 70s, for instance, you’re seven per cent less likely to die from cancer and your risk of dying from heart disease is 20 per cent lower.

Not surprisingly, your risk of dying from either disease drops further the older your parents were when they died, say researchers from the University of Exeter, who assessed the health of more than 186,000 people, aged from 55 to 73 years, who were tracked for eight years.

If either of your parents made it until 70, your chance of living to a similar age is around 17 per cent, say the researchers, and a parent who lived until he or she was 100 increases your chance of making it at least to 70 years by 68 per cent.

Although it’s something you’ve known, the researchers say it is the first time that a major study has tried to assess the chances of living healthily into our 70s and beyond based on the longevity of our parents.


References

(Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2016; 68: 874-5)

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