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Aurora magazine

8 out of 10 centenarians have the same genetic variant

A study by the Hospital Saverio De Bellis reveals the genetic variant of longevity. They have 8 centenarians out of 10 and protects against aging, diabetes, tumors and cardiovascular diseases. The discovery will help to better understand the aging processes. Furthermore, it will be a valuable tool for personalized medicine.

The researchers started with a series of international studies, which in turn involved over 15 thousand people. Thanks to the data of these volunteers, scholars have identified a genetic variant of very long-lived people. It is estimated that the variant is present in about 80% of the centenarians worldwide.

What does the beneficial anomaly consist of? The variation affects a small piece of DNA, the FOXO3 gene to be more precise. Those born with this genetic trait are more resistant to cellular stress. This allows him to age better and to a large extent to avoid diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Moreover, the owners of the variant are also more resistant to possible risks of cancer.

The mutation of FOXO3 seems to have positive effects even in unsuspected times. It is in fact linked to a lower risk of fetal malformations. Its carriers also better manage unfavorable weather conditions and possible power problems.

The study places a new piece in the framework of medicine and precision diagnostics. This discovery will help develop new genetic tests, which preach the possible effects of a drug before administration. The variant could also become a predictive marker that helps in the context of prognostic and therapeutic evaluations.