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Journal Article

Family clustering in Sardinian longevity: a genealogical approach

Caselli, G., Pozzi, L., Vaupel, J. W., Deiana, L., Pes, G., Carru, C., Franceschi, C., Baggio, G.

Experimental Gerontology, 41:8, 727-736 (2006)

Keywords: Italy, centenarians, genealogy, longevity

Abstract

This paper aims to discuss the validation and family determinants affecting the longevity of Sardinian centenarians, using a genealogical approach. This preliminary study presents the first results of a genealogical tree reconstruction of selected centenarians aged 105 and over, from certain areas. These are mostly situated in the province of Nuoro, an area with the highest rate of centenarians and where the female-to-male sex ratio tends to be male-biased. An accurate centenarian age validation was performed that required a meticulous examination of numerous civil status records and parish registers. An important finding was that longevity occurs among the ascendants of a particular branch of the family. The data used are still provisional but, should it apply to other validated cases, it would provide empirical evidence of a genetic component in longevity. A more thorough examination of the data available may yield deeper insights into the role played by endogamy and consanguinity.

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