While exploring which biological processes might predict successful in centenarians, a team from Newcastle and Tokyo have identified two prominent factors that facilitate health longevity - low level inflammation and telomere length.
"Centenarians and supercentenarians are different - put simply, they age slower. They can ward off diseases for much longer than the general population."
After measuring a number of health markers in 1,554 people including: those over 105, between 100 and 105 and a group near their 100th birthday along with their offspring, these two elements emerged as consistent longevity predictors.
The data suggests that those who do make it to 100 and over are able to more successfully maintain their telomeres through later life. While centenarians still displayed rising markers of chronic inflammation with age, they and their offspring seemed to persistently keep inflammation at comparatively low levels - enabling them to live independent lives with better cognition.
"This study, showing for the first time that inflammation levels predict successful ageing even in the extreme old, makes a strong case to assume that chronic inflammation drives human ageing too. Accordingly, designing novel, safe anti-inflammatory or immune-modulating medication has major potential to improve healthy lifespan."
Read more at MedicalExpress