10-Year Follow-Up of the Super-Seniors Study: Compression of Morbidity and Genetic Factors

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (PhD)
Final version published as: 

Tindale, Lauren & Salema, Diane & R. Brooks-Wilson, Angela. (2019). 10-year follow-up of the Super-Seniors Study: compression of morbidity and genetic factors. BMC Geriatrics. 19. DOI: 10.1186/s12877-019-1080-8

Date created: 
2019-02-28
Keywords: 
Oldest-old
Centenarians
Super-seniors
Healthy aging
Longevity
Abstract: 

Background: Super-Seniors are healthy, long-lived individuals who were recruited at age 85 years or older with no history of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, or major pulmonary disease. In a 10-year follow-up, we aimed to determine whether surviving Super-Seniors showed compression of morbidity, and to test whether the allele frequencies of longevity-associated variants in APOE and FOXO3 were more extreme in such long-term survivors.

Methods: Super-Seniors who survived and were contactable were re-interviewed 10 years after initial characterization. Health and lifestyle were characterized via questionnaire. Geriatric tests including the Timed Up and Go (TUG), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) and the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) were administered, and data were compared to results from on average 10 years earlier. As well, genotype and allele frequencies for SNPs rs7412 and rs429358 in APOE, and rs2802292 in FOXO3 were compared to the frequencies in the original collection of Super-Seniors and mid-life controls.

Results: Of the 480 Super-Seniors recruited from 2004 to 2007, 13 were alive, contactable, and consented to re-interview (mean age = 100.1 ± 3.3). Eight of these 13 participants (62%) still met Super-Senior health criteria. Diseases that occurred in late life were cardiovascular (5 of 13; 38%) and lung disease (1 of 13; 8%). MMSE and IADL scores declined in the decade between interviews, and GDS and TUG scores increased. The surviving group of centenarians had a higher frequency of APOE and FOXO3 longevity-associated variants even when compared to the original long-lived Super-Senior cohort.

Conclusions: Although physical and mental decline occurred in the decade between interviews, the majority of Super-Seniors re-interviewed still met the original health criteria. These observations are consistent with reports of compression of morbidity at extreme ages, particularly in centenarians. The increased frequency of longevity- associated variants in this small group of survivors is consistent with studies that reported genetics as a larger contributor to longevity in older age groups.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
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