Navigation Links
Farming, Fatherhood Hallmarks of Men Who Live to 100

Study finds men with more than 3 kids are more likely reach the milestone

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A young, trim farmer with four or more children: According to a new study, that's the ideal profile for American men hoping to reach 100 years of age.

The research, based largely on data from World War I draft cards, suggests that keeping off excess weight in youth, farming and fathering a large number of offspring all help men live past a century.

One finding in particular was unexpected, the researchers said.

"We were surprised that having more than three children is beneficial to longevity -- based on previous studies by other authors, and common sense, quite the opposite could be expected," said study co-author Leonid Gavrilov, who conducted the study with his wife, Natalia Gavrilova, both of the University of Chicago's Center on Aging.

Gavrilov, a leader in longevity research, was to present the findings Monday at the Gerontological Society of America annual meeting, in San Francisco.

The husband-and-wife team have long mined vital statistics and other data, looking for clues to why some people live into extreme old age.

Just last year, they reported one new finding: Babies born to women under 25 years of age were twice as likely to live to 100 years of age compared to infants born to moms aged 25 or older.

The new research in men was spurred by the fact that a treasure trove of information about 20th-century American males has now been put online: World War I Draft Registration Cards.

From 1917 to 1918, almost all adult males aged 46 or under were required by law to fill out these cards, which asked them to detail a number of physical and social attributes.

In their study, Gavrilov and Gavrilova first used Social Security data to locate 240 men born in 1887 who lived to be at least 100.

In 171 of those cases, the men's physical and social attributes at age 30 were recorded on their WW I draft cards -- giving the researchers a snapshot of their lives at the time.

The Chicago team then compared that data against draft card information for a randomly selected group of American men who were also born in 1887 but who did not reach 100.

Some surprising findings emerged. First of all, a man's chances of reaching 100 rose along with the number of children he had produced by age 30.

Compared to childless men of the same age, a 30-year-old man in 1917 who had one to three children had a 61 percent increased chance of living past a century, the data showed. However, a man's chances for extreme longevity almost tripled if he had fathered four or more children by age 30, the study found.

That's at odds with a prevailing theory in longevity research that holds that "there is a trade-off between the number of children and [parental] longevity," noted Arnold Mitnitski, a longevity researcher and associate professor of medicine, mathematics and statistics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

He described the study as "very well-done, very clean."

Theoretically, a household full of young kids should deplete a family's resources and undermine the longevity of parents, Mitnitski said. And yet, young dads with many children lived much longer than other men in this sample.

"This may be due to the support by the children when the person becomes older," Gavrilov speculated. Alternatively, siring many children "could be an indicator of good general health and attractiveness on the marriage market, leading to earlier marriage and hence to more kids by age 30," he said.

In other words, the same robust health that boosted a man's marriage prospects and fertility might also promote long life, Gavrilov reasoned.

Another finding, replicated in prior studies, was that being a farmer (as listed on the Draft Card) more than doubled a man's odds of living into the triple digits.

"The most popular hypothesis [there] is that people in the past had poor sanitation in towns, and hence a high infection load early in life," Gavrilov said. Farms were more isolated, and so farmers were less likely to contract life-limiting illnesses, he reasoned.

Not unexpectedly, overweight -- what the researchers described as a "stout" physique -- reduced a man's likelihood for very long life. In fact, slender or medium-built men were twice as likely to reach the century mark compared to stout types.

But, "surprisingly, there is not much difference between the slender and the medium body build, in terms of survival chance to 100," Gavrilov said. That runs counter to the results of animal studies that have suggested that low-calorie diets, and resultant skinniness, boosts longevity.

Other characteristics -- including marital and immigration status at 30 -- had little or no impact on longevity.

Finally, taller men were only marginally more likely to live to 100 than their shorter peers, the team found. Experts have long linked shorter adult height to the types of childhood infections that might shorten lifespan, so this finding is also a bit of a puzzle, Gavrilov said.

"We need to make a larger study and take a closer look at the links between adult height, childhood infection and longevity," he said.

He stressed that findings for women would no doubt be different, for a variety of reasons. "We need to find [similar] data for women to get the answer," Gavrilov said.

More information

There's more on healthy aging at the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

SOURCES: Leonid Gavrilov, Ph.D., Center on Aging, University of Chicago; Arnold Mitnitski, Ph.D., associate professor, departments of medicine, mathematics and statistics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Nov. 19, 2007, presentation, annual meeting, Gerontological Society of America, San Francisco

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Farming, Fatherhood Hallmarks of Men Who Live to 100
(Date:10/10/2015)... ... October 10, 2015 , ... The Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup ... Saturday, October 10th, defending race winner, Kevin Harvick, will battle it out for the ... and all of the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As part ...
(Date:10/10/2015)... ... October 10, 2015 , ... In the inaugural people’s choice contest, entitled Bold ... Work in Jacksonville, amongst medium-sized companies with 25 – 99 employees. The announcement was ... a celebratory gala on October 1st. , Many of the features of the ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... With the FCPX LUT Vibrance pack ... footage. A LUT is a Lookup Table that contains a mathematical formula for modifying ... the table. This pack comes with 60 vibrant CUBE LUT files. , ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2015 , ... ... now offering a special promotion on Invisalign, the orthodontic system that uses clear, ... The aligners are almost invisible against the teeth, which allow patients to complete ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... 09, 2015 , ... Confidence Plus Insurance has just celebrated ... initiative that involves working with a series of local charities throughout the California ... Insurance is the Gleason Park Electric Violin Ensemble (GPEVE). , GPEVE provides a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
... , New Report Highlights Best and Worst State ... Va., Sept. 10 A new report by The Vision Council, ... for children entering school are inconsistent, impeding children,s ability to succeed ... visual processing of information, undetected vision problems can severely impact a ...
... largest network of Hispanic health advocates joins President Obama,s efforts to improve ... , WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 "There was a clear ... reform. We need to work together to get the job done and ... our history, it is essential that we do this to support America,s ...
... , Statement attributable to: J. James Rohack, M.D. President, ... that Medical Liability Reform is Needed , , ... is unacceptable. The AMA will continue to work for reform that makes ... opportunity this year to achieve meaningful health reform for America,s patients and ...
... Sept. 9 In commemoration of the first September 11 National ... Los Angeles will host three 2-hour volunteer orientations for 100+ youth and ... tour of the chapter,s new state of the art Emergency Operation Center, ... recent California wildfires. , , What: ...
... MECHANICSBURG, Pa., Sept. 9 Select Medical Holdings ... the launch of its initial public offering of 33,333,333 shares ... is expected to be between $11.00 and $13.00 ... of common shares by Select, and Goldman, Sachs & Co., ...
... 9 As the nation awaits President Obama,s address on ... Philanthropic Collaborative (TPC) sent today a letter to the President ... foundations in the field of health. , , ... the social and economic effectiveness of health-related philanthropic activities. ...
Cached Medicine News:
(Date:10/9/2015)... , Oct. 9, 2015  Impax Laboratories, Inc. ... will release its third quarter 2015 financial results on ... the U.S. financial markets. The Company will host a ... at 8:30 a.m., Eastern Time on November 9, 2015.  ... . --> The financial results and live ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) ... 50 new jobs to its research and development presence at ... New York . --> ... include a translational immuno-oncology hub and a Lilly "portal," which ... to cutting-edge drug discovery capabilities, including chemistry and lead optimization ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... Switzerland , October 9, 2015   ... with KUR-111 meets primary efficacy endpoint San Diego, ... Orthopaedics and Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma, NYU Lutheran Medical Center, on ... San Diego, California , by Dr. Tom Lyon ... Medical Center, on 9 th October 2015 at 8:30a.m. PDT. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
... PDII ) today announced that Nancy Lurker, the company,s chief executive ... Services Conference at 8:30 am ET on February 7, 2012 at The ... webcast may be accessed under the "Investor Relations" tab on the company,s ... days. About PDI, Inc. PDI ...
... 2012  The IP & Science business of Thomson ... for Applied Economic Research (IPEA). This partnership provides ... Innovation, Regulation and Infrastructure (DISET) branch with access ... supplying them with generic pharmaceutical intelligence as well ...
Cached Medicine Technology:
CDIs new improved Implant Stabilizer has super-soft elastic bands with lace trim....
Bras and Breast Support...
Post-Surgical compression garments...
... The Albumin Cobalt Binding (ACB®) Test is ... Modified Albumin (IMA®) by measuring the cobalt ... serum sample. First identified in the early ... comes in contact with ischemic tissue in ...
Medicine Products: