Having an Old Dad Just Might Make You Live Longer

In a fascinating breakthrough, scientists have found that children of older fathers actually live longer. They have been found to have longer telomeres which are small caps on the ends of chromosomes that can protect against the process of aging.

The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the telomere length of DNA in the blood of 1779 young Filipino adults and then looked at the ages of their fathers and grandfathers.

They found two fascinating items. First, they discovered that a person’s telomeres was longer based on the father’s age. They also found that it was longer for people whose grandfathers were older at the time of their father’s birth. The basic formula they found was that the telomeres increased an equal amount for each year that the father delayed having a child.

Longer telomeres have been found to be a signal to biological health and longevity – and this might promote longer life.

A different study that looked at telomeres lengths found that people who had shorter ones were three times more likely to die from heart disease. As Professor Kuwaza, an anthropologist at Northwestern University said: ‘The effect of the age of paternal ancestors on telomere length could allow increases in life expectancy under demographic conditions of low mortality and delayed reproduction.”