Gerontology Research Group
Gerontology Research Group
News Article | April 15, 2017
Emma Morano, then 16, is seen in Verbania, North Italy, on May 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/OLIVIER MORIN) Rome (AFP) - Emma Morano, an Italian woman believed to have been the oldest person alive and the last survivor of the 19th century, died Saturday at the age of 117, Italian media reported. Morano, born on November 29 1899, died at her home in Verbania, in northern Italy, the reports said. "She had an extraordinary life, and we will always remember her strength to move forward in life," said Silvia Marchionini, the mayor of Verbania, a small village of some 2,000 residents. According to the US-based Gerontology Research Group (GRG), Morano ceded the crown of the world's oldest human being to Jamaican Violet Brown, who was born on March 10, 1900. Morano's death, at the age of 117 years and 137 days, means there is no one living known to have been born before 1900. Her first love died in World War I, but she married later and left her violent husband just before the Second World War and shortly after the death in infancy of her only son. That was 30 years before divorce became legal in Italy. She had clung to her independence, only taking on a full-time carer a couple of years ago, though she had not left her small two-room apartment for 20 years. She had been bed-bound during her latter years. In an interview with AFP last year, she put her longevity down to her diet. "I eat two eggs a day, and that's it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth," she said in her home at the time, where the Guinness World Records certificate declaring her to be the oldest person alive held pride of place on a marble-topped chest of drawers. She also refused to be taken to hospital, with the exception of a cataract operation. Her Eyesight did become very poor and she latterly spent much of her days sleeping. But she kept her sense of humour till the end. "How does my hair look," she asked before blowing out the candles on her 117th birthday cake last year. "What impresses me most is her memory. She forgets nothing," Yamile Vergara, her nurse for over 40 years, said at the time. "Her sense of humour is her therapy". The eldest of eight children, Morano outlived all of her younger siblings. Robert Young, director of the Los Angeles-based GRG's Supercentenarian Research and Database Division, said he had been following Morano 's progress for the past seven years, calling her an example of "super-ageing individuals who seem to age at a slower rate than normal -- maybe even a few percentage points slower, but enough to make a difference". The world longevity record, he noted, remained with French woman Jeanne Calment, who died at 122 in 1997, having outlived both her daughter and grandson. "That's superconfirmed," Young said. Emma Morano goes into the record books as the fifth longest life ever verified. In 1900, when Violet Brown was born, Jamaica was part of the British West Indies, so her records are from the British government, in Queen Victoria's time. "Unless a surprise candidate comes out of the trees, she is the oldest living Victorian," said Young. For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android.
News Article | April 17, 2017
The world's oldest person Violet Brown, center, poses with her care givers Elaine Mcgrowder , left, and Dolet Grant at her home in Duanvale district of Trelawny, Jamaica, Sunday, April 16, 2017. The 117-year-old woman living in the hills of western Jamaica is believed to have become the world's oldest person, according to groups that monitor human longevity. (AP Photo/Raymond Simpson) DUANVALE, Jamaica (AP) — Violet Brown spent much of her life cutting sugarcane in the fields around her home in western Jamaica. She attended church regularly, avoids pork and chicken and celebrated her 117th birthday last month. On Saturday, she is believed to have become the world's oldest living person following the death of Emma Morano of Italy, born Nov. 29, 1899. Brown told The Associated Press she is surprised but grateful to have lived this long. "This is what God has given me, so I have to take it — long life," Brown said in an interview in her home in the town of Duanvale. Brown is considered to be the oldest person in the world with credible birth documentation, according to Robert Young, director of the supercentenarian research and database division at Gerontology Research Group, a network of volunteer researchers into the world's oldest people. Its website says she was born on March 10, 1900. Brown has not yet been declared the world's oldest by Guinness World Records, considered to be the official arbiter of the oldest person title but Guinness depends heavily on Young's group. Young said he has met Brown and examined her birth certificate, which was issued by the British authorities who governed Jamaica at the time of her birth. "She's the oldest person that we have sufficient documentation for at this time," Young said. Guinness said it was researching a number of candidates for the new world's oldest person title. "It can be a uniquely complex and sometimes lengthy process," Guinness spokeswoman Elizabeth Montoya said. "There is no confirmation of a new title holder until our thorough processes are complete." Brown has two caregivers and spends most of the day resting in the home she shares with her 97-year-old son. She is able to sit up by herself and walk short distances. And while she is hard of hearing, she offered swift, complete responses to questions about her life and family. The secret to long life is hard work, she said. "I was a cane farmer. I would do every work myself," she said. "I worked, me and my husband, over that hill." She also credited her Christian faith for her long life. "I've done nearly everything at the church," she said. "I spent all my time in the church. I like to sing. I spent all my time in the church from a child to right up," to today, she said. For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android.
News Article | April 16, 2017
Born on Nov. 29, 1899, Emma Morano was the last known living person to be born in the 19th century. The woman believed to be the world’s oldest person died Saturday, April 15, in Italy at the age of 117. Emma Morano was also the last surviving person to be born in the 19th century, meaning she lived through three centuries. Born on Nov. 29, 1899 in Italy’s Piedmont region, Morano reportedly credited her long life to great genes and an odd diet that included three eggs a day, of which two were eaten raw. Silvia Marchionini, mayor of the town of Verbania where Morano lived, said: “She reached an incredible finish line.” The town reportedly has over 20 people who are above the age of 100. Read: Running Could Add Years And Hours To Your Life Morano’s long life was full of ups and downs. She outlived all her siblings, lost her only son, ended an abusive marriage, lived through both the world wars and saw over 90 Italian governments during her lifetime. “My life wasn’t so nice,” she told Reuters last year. “I worked in a factory until I was 65, then that was that.” After the man she loved died during the World War I, Morano was forced to marry another man but the marriage was not a happy one. “‘Either you agree to marry me or I will kill you’,” Morano quoted her husband’s proposal during an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa. “I was 26. We got married.” The marriage ended after her son died, just six months after his birth, and Morano decided to kick her husband out. She told the New York Times, “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.” Morano’s doctor Carlo Bava elaborated on her unusual diet, which she picked up after being diagnosed with anemia soon after World War I. “When I first knew her she used to eat three eggs a day. Two raw, and one fried. Today she has slowed down a bit, reducing the number to two some days because she says three can be too much,” Bava was reported saying by Reuters last year. “She has never eaten much fruit or vegetables. Her characteristic is that she always eats the same thing, every day, every week, every month and every year.” With Morano’s death, Violet Brown of Jamaica, born March 10, 1900, has become the oldest living person, according to data from Gerontology Research Group.
News Article | April 15, 2017
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, Emma Morano sits in her home on the day of her 117th birthday in Verbania, Italy. An Italian doctor says Emma Morano, at 117 the world's oldest person, has died in her home in northern Italy. Dr. Carlo Bava told The Associated Press by telephone that Morano's caretaker called him to say the woman had passed away Saturday afternoon while sitting in an armchair in her home in Verbania, a town on Lake Maggiore. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File) ROME (AP) — Emma Morano, at 117 the world's oldest person who is also believed to have been the last surviving person born in the 1800s, died Saturday at her home in northern Italy, her physician said. Dr. Carlo Bava told The Associated Press by phone that Morano's caretaker had called him to say she had stopped breathing in the afternoon while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy's Lake Maggiore. Bava said he had last seen his patient on Friday when "she thanked me and held my hand," as she did every time he called on her. While Morano had been increasingly spending more time sleeping and less time speaking in recent weeks, she had still eaten her daily raw egg and biscuits that day, he said. A woman in Jamaica, Violet Brown, who was born in that Caribbean island on March 10, 1900, is now considered the oldest known person in the world, according to a list kept by the Gerontology Research Group. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted his congratulations to her. Morano's doctor, who lives a few blocks away from his patient, had been her physician for nearly a quarter of a century. Morano, born on Nov. 29, 1899, had been living in a tidy, one-room apartment, where she was kept company by her caregiver and two elderly nieces. "She didn't suffer. I'm happy she didn't suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly," Bava said Saturday. He said she had been her usual chatterbox self until a few weeks ago. Since then it was clear, "she was slowly fading away," and spending nearly all day in bed, Bava said. Last fall on her birthday, Morano declared: "I'm happy I have turned 117!" Bava has previously told the AP that Morano lost a son to crib death when he was six months old. Morano left her husband in 1938 because he would beat her. She "abandoned the husband in the Fascist era, when women were supposed to be very submissive," Bava said in a 2015 interview. "She was always very decisive." Morano began working in a factory making jute bags when she was 16. Then she worked at a hotel, working way beyond the usual retirement age. Beside work, she enjoyed herself. She was considered a good dancer with a beautiful singing voice in her youth. She also defied health advice, Bava said Saturday. Some doctors had warned her against eating three eggs daily, which she did for years, but she ignored their advice. Researchers from Harvard Medical School visited her in 2014 as part of a study into immunity to diseases, the Italian news agency ANSA said. Frances D'Emilio is on twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio.
News Article | October 6, 2016
There may be a limit to how long humans can live, according to a new study. The oldest known person was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at age 122. Calment's longevity record is unlikely to be broken, the researchers said. "In contrast to previous suggestions that human longevity can be extended ever further, our data strongly suggest that the duration of life is limited," the researchers wrote in their study, published today (Oct. 5) in the journal Nature. However, the new findings don't mean that researchers know for sure that humans will never live longer than 122 years, said Steven Austad, a professor of biology and aging at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who was not involved in the study. He said that scientists used to believe that the limit to the human life span was 110 years until somebody lived to be older than that, which shows that it is tough to predict what this limit can be for humans. [Extending Life: 7 Ways to Live Past 100] In the new study, the researchers looked at the Human Mortality Database, an international database with detailed mortality data that's maintained by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the Max Plank Institutes in Germany. The database contains information on how long people have lived in recent decades in many countries. The researchers found that, in at least 40 countries and territories, the number of people surviving to age 70 and older has increased since 1900. This suggests that people's life expectancy, or the estimate of how long a person may expect to live, has increased. However, if there is no limit to how long people can live, then the greatest increases in survival rates over time should have occurred among those people who are the oldest, the researchers hypothesized. But the data showed that the greatest increase in survival rates among people in the oldest age groups in most countries peaked around 1980, and has not changed since. This may suggest that, after all, there may be a natural limit to how long people can live, the researchers said. The scientists also looked to see how old the very oldest people were when they died. They focused on deaths between 1968 and 2006, in France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, which are the four countries with the largest numbers of people who have lived longer than 110 years, according to the International Database on Longevity. The researchers also looked at the maximum reported age at death between 1972 and 2015 reported by another source, called the Gerontology Research Group. The researchers found that, though the maximum reported age at death did increase until the 1990s, it has actually plateaued, and even slightly decreased since the time Jeanne Calment died. But Austad said that the human life span could likely still be extended. Experiments on mice have shown that these animals live longer if their calorie intake is restricted or if their genes are manipulated, he said. If researchers found medications or lifestyle factors such as special diets that are better than the ones known today, that could allow humans to live longer, too, he said.
Gierman H.J.,Stanford University |
Fortney K.,Stanford University |
Roach J.C.,Institute for Systems Biology |
Coles N.S.,Gerontology Research Group |
And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014
Supercentenarians (110 years or older) are the world's oldest people. Seventy four are alive worldwide, with twenty two in the United States. We performed whole-genome sequencing on 17 supercentenarians to explore the genetic basis underlying extreme human longevity. We found no significant evidence of enrichment for a single rare protein-altering variant or for a gene harboring different rare protein altering variants in supercentenarian compared to control genomes. We followed up on the gene most enriched for rare protein-altering variants in our cohort of supercentenarians, TSHZ3, by sequencing it in a second cohort of 99 long-lived individuals but did not find a significant enrichment. The genome of one supercentenarian had a pathogenic mutation in DSC2, known to predispose to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, which is recommended to be reported to this individual as an incidental finding according to a recent position statement by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Even with this pathogenic mutation, the proband lived to over 110 years. The entire list of rare protein-altering variants and DNA sequence of all 17 supercentenarian genomes is available as a resource to assist the discovery of the genetic basis of extreme longevity in future studies. ©- 2014 Gierman et al.
Millan-Calenti J.C.,Gerontology Research Group |
Tubio J.,Gerontology Research Group |
Pita-Fernandez S.,Complejo Hospitalario Universitario |
Gonzalez-Abraldes I.,Gerontology Research Group |
And 3 more authors.
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics | Year: 2010
The aim of this study is to establish the existing relationship among variables referred to the person, specifically age and gender, and the functional dependence in basic ADL and in IADL, as well as the possible relationship it has with the increase of morbidity and mortality in a random sample of 598 individuals older than 65 years. Of these individuals, 34.6% were categorized as dependent for at least one ADL, and 53.5% if we refer to IADL. Regarding the ADL, the risk of dependence increases (odds ratio = OR = 1.089) per year of age, (OR = 2.48) in women's case; while there is an IADL correlation between age and the score (r = -0.527; p < 0.001). A relationship exists between dependence and the days of hospitalization (for ADL: r = -0.12, p = 0.018 and IADL: r = -0.97, p = 0.003), the number of visits to the doctor (ADL: r = -0.27, p < 0.001; IADL: r = -0.25, p < 0.001) or the presence of concomitant pathologies such as dementia (ADL: p < 0.001; IADL: p < 0.001). There is a significant association between age, gender and dependence, as well as between dependence and morbidity and mortality, so that dependence could be used as a predictor of both. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Millan-Calenti J.C.,Gerontology Research Group |
Sanchez A.,Gerontology Research Group |
Lorenzo-Lopez L.,Gerontology Research Group |
Cao R.,Gerontology Research Group |
Maseda A.,Gerontology Research Group
International Journal of Aging and Human Development | Year: 2013
The influence of social support dimensions (the extent of contact with others, the satisfaction with contacts, and the availability of help if sick or disabled) in elderly people with cognitive impairment (COG), depressive symptoms (DEP), or the co-occurrence of these symptoms (COG-DEP) was assessed in a cross-sectional analysis of a representative sample of 579 individuals aged 65 years and older. A lower extent of contact was related to COG (OR: 2.26). Fair satisfaction with contacts was related to DEP (OR: 2.88) and COG-DEP (OR: 4.22). A low level of satisfaction with contacts was an important predictor for DEP (OR: 7.99) and COG-DEP (OR: 7.88). Therefore, different dimensions of social support were independently correlated with different aspects of mental health. Quantitative aspects of social support were significantly linked to the presence of cognitive impairment. Satisfaction with social support affected depressive symptoms both alone and when they co-occurred with cognitive impairment. © 2013, Baywood Publishing Co., Inc.
PubMed | Gerontology Research Group
Type: | Journal: Rejuvenation research | Year: 2017
News Article | February 28, 2017
HUNTINGDON, Pa., Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne visited Huntingdon County resident Delphine Gibson, who is 113 years old. The Gerontology Research Group, which validates longevity and tracks supercentenarians, veri...