Children of long-living parents less likely to get cancer
If your parents live to a ripe old age, you may be less likely to develop cancer, according to research from the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom. The scientists report that if your mother lives to at least 91 years old and your father to 87, you have a 24 percent lower risk of developing cancer and have a higher likelihood of living a long life yourself.
For the study, which included research from the United Kingdom, France and two U.S. universities, the scientists compared the children of long-lived parents to children whose parents survived to average ages for their generation. The British researchers found the 24 percent reduced cancer risk if parents lived longer lives, while the French scientists determined a 19 percent decreased mortality rate for each decade that each parent lived past age 65. The researchers indicated that while genetics was likely a major factor in the results, so were lifestyle aspects that may be passed down through generations.
This study is thought to be one of the first to associate parents' longevity with cancer rate. Despite the results, the researchers warn that having older parents does not necessarily make a person immune to any condition, and therefore people should lead healthy lifestyles to best maximize their potential.