The Protective Effect of Familial Longevity Persists After Age 100: Findings From the Danish National Registers

Angéline Galvin, Jacob Krabbe Pedersen, Mary K Wojczynski, Svetlana Ukraintseva, Konstantin Arbeev, Mary Feitosa, Michael A Province, Kaare Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: A recent study suggested that the protective effect of familial longevity becomes negligible for centenarians. However, the authors assessed the dependence on familial longevity in centenarians by comparing centenarians with 1 parent surviving to age 80+ to centenarians whose same-sexed parent did not survive to age 80. Here we test whether the protective effect of familial longevity persists after age 100 using more restrictive definitions of long-lived families.

METHODS: Long-lived sibships were identified through 3 nationwide, consecutive studies in Denmark, including families with either at least 2 siblings aged 90+ or a Family Longevity Selection Score (FLoSS) above 7. Long-lived siblings enrolled in these studies and who reached age 100 were included. For each sibling, 5 controls matched on sex and year of birth were randomly selected among centenarians in the Danish population. Survival time from age 100 was described with Kaplan-Meier curves for siblings and controls separately. Survival analyses were performed using stratified Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS: A total of 340 individuals from long-lived sibships who survived to age 100 and 1 700 controls were included. Among the long-lived siblings and controls, 1 650 (81%) were women. The results showed that long-lived siblings presented better overall survival after age 100 than sporadic long-livers (hazard ratio [HR]  = 0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]  = 0.71-0.91), with even lower estimate (HR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.50-0.85) if familial longevity was defined by FLoSS.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study, with virtually no loss to follow-up, demonstrated a persistence of protective effect of familial longevity after age 100.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology Series A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Male
  • Longevity/genetics
  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Centenarians
  • Denmark/epidemiology


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