Centenarians breaking records: nature or nurture?

Centenarians breaking records: nature or nurture? Age and Ageing 2018; 0: 1 © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com Letter to the Editor programmed physical activity across the life span to attenuate Centenarians breaking records: nature or age-related decline in physical function. Nature cannot be chan- nurture? ged, but we should never stop trying to beat (our) records. 1 2 PEDRO L. VALENZUELA ,JAVIER S. MORALES , Societies are progressively aging, with the ‘oldest old’ (i.e. 3 2 ALEJANDRO SANTOS-LOZANO ,ALEJANDRO LUCIA those aged 85–90 years and above) being the most rapidly Biology Systems Department, University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain expanding population segment. Among them, centenarians Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, are not only the survival tail of the population, but also a Spain model of healthy aging as they have managed to postpone European University Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid, Spain Address correspondence to: A.Lucia, C/Tajo S/N, 28670, Villaviciosa (and sometimes even avoided) major chronic diseases and de Odón, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de their fatal consequences. Especially remarkable are the cases Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Tel: +34 91 664 7800 ext 3010. of centenarians who still have an admirable physical func- Email: alejandro.lucia@universidadeuropea.es tion, and thus represent a paradigm of healthy aging. During the recent European Master Athletic Championship Conflicts of interest (held in Madrid on March 2018) a 102-year-old Italian athlete, Giuseppe Ottaviani, won several gold medals with a best per- None. formance of 0.85 m in the long jump and 3.31 m in the shot put (using a 3 kg weight). There are other remarkable sports Funding achievements by centenarians. For instance, an American, Donald Pellmann, broke multiple world records at his age- P.L.V. is supported by a predoctoral contract granted by the group, including in the 100-m dash (26.99 s) and high University of Alcalá (FPI2016). J.S.M. is supported by a pre- jump (0.90 m). doctoral contract granted by Ministry of Education, Culture Genetic factors seem to play an important role in the odds and Sport (FPU14/03435). A.L. is supported by grants of reaching exceptional longevity. Notably, the DD genotype from Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the insertion (I)/deletion (D) polymorphism in the angio- (Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias [FIS], grant number tensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene is theoretically linked to PI15/00558). However, these sources of funding played no a higher ACE activity (and thus to higher circulating levels of role in the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of the gene product, angiotensin II) andis associatedwithahigh- data or writing of the study. er likelihood of reaching exceptional longevity. This in turn could be related, at least partly, to an increased preservation References of muscle mass and strength associated with the D-allele, with angiotensin II being not only a vasoconstrictor agent but 1. Garatachea N, Marin PJ, Lucia A. The ACE DD genotype also a skeletal muscle growth factor [1]. On the other hand, and D-allele are associated with exceptional longevity: a carriage of the ‘unfavourable’ apolipoprotein E (ApoE)gene meta-analysis. Ageing Res Rev 2013; 12: 1079–87. ε4-allele seems to have a negative impact on exceptional longev- 2. Skoog I, Hörder H, Frändin K et al. Association between APOE ity, and might be linked to a greater decline in muscle strength genotype and change in physical function in a population-based [2]. In this context, one could view the aforementioned athletic Swedish cohort of older individuals followed over four years. Front Aging Neurosci 2016; 8: 225. eCollection 2016. achievements as biological exceptions that are largely influ- 3. Justice JN, Cesari M, Seals DR, Shively CA, Carter CS. enced by a unique genetic endowment. Although this could be Comparative approaches to understanding the relation between true, these achievements should serve to highlight the potential aging and physical function. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci of regular exercise training for the promotion of healthy ageing. 2016; 71: 1243–53. Physical function is considered a biomarker of aging, being 4. Daskalopoulou C, Stubbs B, Kralj C, Koukounari A, Prince a predictor of adverse health events, disability and mortality M, Prina AM. Physical activity and healthy ageing: a system- [3]. There is strong scientific evidence that physical activity is atic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies. associated with healthy aging in the general older population Ageing Res Rev 2017; 38: 6–17. [4]. Indeed, as confirmed by a recent meta-analysis, chronically 5. Mckendry J, Breen L, Shad BJ, Greig C. Muscle morphology trained master athletes preserve their physical function despite and performance in master athletes: a systematic review and advancing age [5]. Yet, there is still a tendency to avoid exer- meta-analyses. Ageing Res Rev 2018; 45: 62–82. cise interventions in the oldest old. Sport achievements by cen- tenarians reinforce the need that policy makers implement doi: 10.1093/ageing/afy089 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/ageing/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ageing/afy089/5025790 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 12 July 2018 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Age and Ageing Oxford University Press

Centenarians breaking records: nature or nurture?

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Abstract

Age and Ageing 2018; 0: 1 © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com Letter to the Editor programmed physical activity across the life span to attenuate Centenarians breaking records: nature or age-related decline in physical function. Nature cannot be chan- nurture? ged, but we should never stop trying to beat (our) records. 1 2 PEDRO L. VALENZUELA ,JAVIER S. MORALES , Societies are progressively aging, with the ‘oldest old’ (i.e. 3 2 ALEJANDRO SANTOS-LOZANO ,ALEJANDRO LUCIA those aged 85–90 years and above) being the most rapidly Biology Systems Department, University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain expanding population segment. Among them, centenarians Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, are not only the survival tail of the population, but also a Spain model of healthy aging as they have managed to postpone European University Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid, Spain Address correspondence to: A.Lucia, C/Tajo S/N, 28670, Villaviciosa (and sometimes even avoided) major chronic diseases and de Odón, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de their fatal consequences. Especially remarkable are the cases Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Tel: +34 91 664 7800 ext 3010. of centenarians who still have an admirable physical func- Email: alejandro.lucia@universidadeuropea.es tion, and thus represent a paradigm of healthy aging. During the recent European Master Athletic Championship Conflicts of interest (held in Madrid on March 2018) a 102-year-old Italian athlete, Giuseppe Ottaviani, won several gold medals with a best per- None. formance of 0.85 m in the long jump and 3.31 m in the shot put (using a 3 kg weight). There are other remarkable sports Funding achievements by centenarians. For instance, an American, Donald Pellmann, broke multiple world records at his age- P.L.V. is supported by a predoctoral contract granted by the group, including in the 100-m dash (26.99 s) and high University of Alcalá (FPI2016). J.S.M. is supported by a pre- jump (0.90 m). doctoral contract granted by Ministry of Education, Culture Genetic factors seem to play an important role in the odds and Sport (FPU14/03435). A.L. is supported by grants of reaching exceptional longevity. Notably, the DD genotype from Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the insertion (I)/deletion (D) polymorphism in the angio- (Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias [FIS], grant number tensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene is theoretically linked to PI15/00558). However, these sources of funding played no a higher ACE activity (and thus to higher circulating levels of role in the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of the gene product, angiotensin II) andis associatedwithahigh- data or writing of the study. er likelihood of reaching exceptional longevity. This in turn could be related, at least partly, to an increased preservation References of muscle mass and strength associated with the D-allele, with angiotensin II being not only a vasoconstrictor agent but 1. Garatachea N, Marin PJ, Lucia A. The ACE DD genotype also a skeletal muscle growth factor [1]. On the other hand, and D-allele are associated with exceptional longevity: a carriage of the ‘unfavourable’ apolipoprotein E (ApoE)gene meta-analysis. Ageing Res Rev 2013; 12: 1079–87. ε4-allele seems to have a negative impact on exceptional longev- 2. Skoog I, Hörder H, Frändin K et al. Association between APOE ity, and might be linked to a greater decline in muscle strength genotype and change in physical function in a population-based [2]. In this context, one could view the aforementioned athletic Swedish cohort of older individuals followed over four years. Front Aging Neurosci 2016; 8: 225. eCollection 2016. achievements as biological exceptions that are largely influ- 3. Justice JN, Cesari M, Seals DR, Shively CA, Carter CS. enced by a unique genetic endowment. Although this could be Comparative approaches to understanding the relation between true, these achievements should serve to highlight the potential aging and physical function. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci of regular exercise training for the promotion of healthy ageing. 2016; 71: 1243–53. Physical function is considered a biomarker of aging, being 4. Daskalopoulou C, Stubbs B, Kralj C, Koukounari A, Prince a predictor of adverse health events, disability and mortality M, Prina AM. Physical activity and healthy ageing: a system- [3]. There is strong scientific evidence that physical activity is atic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies. associated with healthy aging in the general older population Ageing Res Rev 2017; 38: 6–17. [4]. Indeed, as confirmed by a recent meta-analysis, chronically 5. Mckendry J, Breen L, Shad BJ, Greig C. Muscle morphology trained master athletes preserve their physical function despite and performance in master athletes: a systematic review and advancing age [5]. Yet, there is still a tendency to avoid exer- meta-analyses. Ageing Res Rev 2018; 45: 62–82. cise interventions in the oldest old. Sport achievements by cen- tenarians reinforce the need that policy makers implement doi: 10.1093/ageing/afy089 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/ageing/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ageing/afy089/5025790 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 12 July 2018

Journal

Age and AgeingOxford University Press

Published: May 30, 2018

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