Exp Gerontol, 38(4):361-365, 2003. Paper Website abstract bibtex
This work, based on a matched case-control design, tests the assumption that centenarians were conceived by parents younger than the parents of individuals who had lifespan close to mean life duration. The centenarians are paired with controls of the same sex, born at the same place and at the same time in order to avoid traditional biases related to mortality peaks or secular trend of increase in life expectancy. The parental age at the time of the birth registration of 320 centenarians born in France between 1875 and 1890 and deceased between 1990 and 1999 is collected, as well as the one of 603 controls of the same sex whose births were recorded immediately before or after those of the future centenarians on the birth registers of the cities concerned. No difference is found between the parental age of parents of centenarians and of controls. In particular, no difference is found for females. Recent studies showed--from genealogical data--that the life expectancy of a female would be much reduced if her father was old at the time of her conception. Our study does not indicate a negative effect of a higher paternal age on the longevity of daughters.