Tags: bad | genes | age | heart

Bad Genes Matter Less as You Age: Study

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 11:12 AM

Bad genes tied to Alzheimer's, heart disease, and diabetes have markedly less negative effects on health in old age — when having good friends and a positive psychological outlook have far greater impacts.
That’s the conclusion of a new Mayo Clinic study, published this month in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association, that found quality-of-life issues are more significant factors in those chronic health conditions than genetics once people hit their 90s.
The findings are based on researchers’ analysis of medical records of 121 individuals — aged 90 to 99 years — from the National Institutes of Health-supported Rochester Epidemiology Project. The seniors completed interviews, physical exams, and a quality-of-life questionnaires. They were then divided into groups based on their cognitive function, to sort out the effects of age and disease on well-being, and provided blood samples for genetic analysis. The median age of those studied was 93; 87 percent were women.
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The results showed that seniors carried the gene tied to Alzheimer's, heart disease, and diabetes — known as ApoE4 — were no worse off than others in the study, but that other factors were linked to overall health.
"We found if people had good physical, intellectual, and emotional well-being, more social connectedness, and if they perceived themselves to have better coping skills, they felt they had better quality of life," said Dr. Maria Lapid, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist who helped conduct the study.
"The study shows that the ApoE4 genotype doesn't determine what your quality of life will be, and that, regardless of your gender, environmental factors play a significant role in your physical, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. You can have good quality of life regardless of this gene."

© HealthDay

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Bad genes tied to Alzheimer's, heart disease, and diabetes have less negative effects on health in old age.
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 11:12 AM
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