Longevity of daughters depends on mothers' lifespan

  • Women whose mothers lived up to 90 are 25% more likely to have increased lifespan.
  • The study analysed data from approximately 22,000 postmenopausal women.

Women whose mothers lived up to the age of 90 are 25 per cent more likely to have increased lifespan, without suffering from any serious illnesses like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, a new study has found.

However, the same did not hold true for fathers, as the long life of the fathers alone did not correlate to increased longevity in daughters.

But, if both the mother and the father lived to 90, the likelihood of the daughter achieving longevity and healthy ageing jumped to 38 per cent, the study showed.

These ageing outcomes among offspring could be due to a combination of genetics, environment and behaviours passed on to subsequent generations, the researchers said.

"Our results show that not only did these women live to the age of 90, but they also aged well by avoiding major diseases and disabilities," said lead author Aladdin Shadyab, a postdoctoral student at the University of California-San Diego in the US.

"It's not just about the number of candles on the cake. These women were independent and could do daily activities like bathing, walking, climbing a flight of stairs or participating in hobbies they love, like golf, without limitations," he added.

The study, published in the journal Age and Ageing, analysed data from approximately 22,000 postmenopausal women. The study did not address parental lifespan effects on sons.

"Although we cannot determine our genes, our study shows the importance of passing on healthy behaviours to our children. Certain lifestyle choices can determine healthy ageing from generation to generation," said Shadyab.