Physical resilience after a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease among offspring of long-lived siblings

Angéline Galvin*, Mary Feitosa, Konstantin Arbeev, Allison L. Kuipers, Mary Wojczynski, Svetlana Ukrainsteva, Kaare Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Health benefits of longevity-enriched families transmit across generations and a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have been shown to contribute to this phenomenon. In the current study, we investigated whether the offspring of long-lived siblings also have better survival after a CVD diagnosis compared to matched controls, i.e., are they both robust and resilient? Offspring of long-lived siblings were identified from three nationwide Danish studies and linked to national registers. Offspring with first diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, chronic ischemic heart disease, heart failure or cerebrovascular disease between 1996 and 2011 were included and matched with two controls from the Danish population on sex, year of birth and diagnosis, and type of CVD. Stratified Cox proportional-hazards models on the matching data were performed to study 10-year overall survival. A total of 402 offspring and 804 controls were included: 64.2% male with a median age at diagnosis of 63.0. For offspring and controls, overall survival was 73% and 65% at 10 years from diagnosis, respectively. Offspring of long-lived siblings had a significantly better survival than controls, and this association was slightly attenuated after controlling for marital status, medication and Charlson Comorbidity Index score simultaneously. This study suggested that offspring of long-lived siblings not only show lower CVD incidence but also a better survival following CVD diagnosis compared to matched population controls. The higher biological resilience appears to be a universal hallmark of longevity-enriched families, which makes them uniquely positioned for studying healthy aging and longevity mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)437-445
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Family longevity
  • Resilience
  • Survival


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