According to a new study, children of parents who live to a ripe old age are more likely to live longer, and are less prone to cancer and other common diseases associated with ageing.
Experts at the University of Exeter Medical School, led an international collaboration which discovered that people who had a long-lived mother or father were 24 percent less likely to get cancer.
The scientists compared the children of long-lived parents to children whose parents survived to average ages for their generation.
The researchers found that overall mortality rates dropped by up to 19 per cent for each decade that at least one of the parents lived past the age of 65. For those whose mothers lived beyond 85, mortality rates were 40 per cent lower. The figure was a little lower (14 per cent) for fathers, possibly because of adverse lifestyle factors such as smoking, which may have been more common in the fathers.
The study has been published in the Journals of Gerontology: Series A.