Abstract

People are living longer, but lifespan increase does not coincide with a boost in health-span. Thus, improving the quality of life of older people is a priority. Centenarians reach extreme longevity in a relatively good health status, escaping or delaying fatal or strongly invalidating diseases. Therefore, studying processes involved in longevity is important to explain the biological mechanisms of health and well-being, since knowledge born from this approach can provide valuable information on how to slow aging. We performed the present study in a well characterized very homogeneous sample of 173 people from Western Sicily, to update existing literature on some phenotypic aspects of aging and longevity and to propose a range of values for older people. We classified 5 age groups, from young adults to centenarians, to understand the age and gender-related variations of the different parameters under study. We collected anamnestic data and performed anthropometric, bioimpedance, molecular, haematological, oxidative, and hematochemical tests, adopting a multidimensional analysis approach. An important evidence of the present study is that there are differences related to both age and gender in several biomarkers. Indeed, gender differences seem to be still poorly considered and inadequately investigated in aging as well as in other medical studies. Moreover, we often observed comparable parameters between young and centenarians rather than non-agenarians and centenarians, hypothesizing a sort of slowdown, almost followed by a reversal trend, in the decay of systemic deterioration. The study of centenarians provides important indications on how to slow aging, with benefits for those who are more vulnerable to disease and disability. The identification of the factors that predispose to a long and healthy life is of enormous interest for translational medicine in an aging world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalAging and Disease
Volume12
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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