USC Davis Study Examines Long-Lived Smokers and the Possible Genetics of Resilience

A new study, written by Morgan Levine PhD ’15 (now a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA) and USC University Professor and AARP Professor of Gerontology Eileen Crimmins, highlights possible genetic factors for resisting environmental stressors found in exceptionally long-lived smokers.

The article was published September 9, 2015, in Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences and was featured in the Washington Post the following day. A genome-wide association study revealed that smokers who surpassed age 80 despite heavy exposure to the environmental stressors of smoking may have genes that help minimize and/or reverse the damage caused by smoking.

“There is evidence that these genes may facilitate lifespan extension by increasing cellular maintenance and repair,” Levine explained in the Washington Post article.

To read more: “To Your Health: Secrets of longevity may lie in long-lived smokers, a ‘biologically distinct’ group with extraordinary gene variants” – Washington Post, September 10, 2015

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