Is early life body weight a predictor of longevity and tumor risk in rats?

Anisimov, V. N., Arbeev, K. G., Popovich, I. G., Zabezhinski, M. A., Arbeeva, L. S., Yashin, A. I.
Experimental Gerontology, 39:5, 807–816 (2004)


Heavy body weight (BW) is thought to be associated with reduced longevity and age-associated diseases, including cancer, both in laboratory rodents and humans. To further investigate the interactions between BW, longevity and spontaneous tumor development, we measured the correlations between BW in early life, BW in middle life, and parameters of life span and tumorigenesis in male and female outbred rats. The data show that BW at the ages of both 3 and 12 months are significant predictors of longevity in rats. Heavier female rats tend to live longer than the lighter female rats, while in male those who were light at 3 months but heavy at 12 month had the best longevity. BW at the age 3 months was not predictive of tumor growth but being heavier at the age of 1 year did confer an increased risk of tumor development for both male and female rats.
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