"It is reasonable to suggest that centenarians have some genes that protect them from the harmful effects of an unhealthy lifestyle," - shrugs lead study author Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute of Aging, College of Medicine of Yeshiva Albert Einstein-University.
The study involved 477 Ashkenazi Jews aged 95 to 122 years old, capable of independent life. 75% were women. All of them - the participants of the long-term study of the secrets of longevity.
Ashkenazi Jews chosen due to the fact that this group has a greater genetic homogeneity as compared with others. This facilitates the detection of genetic differences, if the latter, of course, present.
Overall, growth, weight, passion for smoking, diet, "love" to exercise Ashkenazi differed little from the 3164 members of other ethnic groups who were born at the same time and surveyed in 1971-1975 in the framework of the national project to study the health and Power.
24% of long-living men drank alcohol daily (control group - 22%) and only 43% were engaged in regular physical activity (57%).
Excess weight in both groups met almost the same, but centenarians rarely reach higher levels of obesity.
But please do not take this as evidence that obesity, smoking and lack of exercise - the key to long life, warn scientists.