University of Cambridge > > Meeting the Challenge of Healthy Ageing in the 21st Century > Towards Ageing Well: Nature, Nurture and Epigenetics

Towards Ageing Well: Nature, Nurture and Epigenetics

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ilana Spilka.

Today we recognise increasing numbers of nonagenarians in populations globally. However the factors which contribute to good quality ageing remain challenging. Do nonagenarians have special genes or have they intuitively adopted particular life styles or do they show combinations of both? Epigenetics has been considered the missing link between nature and nurture. Although there is much that remains to be discovered, in this session some of the genetic and environmental factors which appear important in good quality longevity will be linked with known epigenetic mechanisms, and to the insights identified by nonagenarians themselves, as important to their good quality ageing. Here we suggest that exceptional 90-year old siblings from the BELFAST and Genetics of Healthy Ageing (GeHA) EU project, have adopted a range of behaviours and life-styles which have contributed to their ageing-well-phenotype. Their insights about physical exercise, diet and good social networks resonate with today’s public health messages about setting a good life course.

This talk is part of the Meeting the Challenge of Healthy Ageing in the 21st Century series.

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