Your grandma may be old but that doesn't mean you will be

By  | 

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A new study finds the longevity of your family members may not predict your life span.

According to the research, genes have less control over how long people live than previously thought. The results, published in the journal Genetics, discovered genes account for less than 7 percent of people's life span. Earlier studies pegged that number between 15 percent and 30 percent.

Researchers from the Google spinoff Calico, a longevity lab, collaborated with genealogy website Ancestry on the study. They analyzed the family trees of more than 400 million people and found, to a large degree, people's day-to-day habits were a better indicator of life span than genes.

"They went in trying to find the genes for longevity with the hope of tinkering with them, and what they found out is that your spouse lives just as long as you is more correlated than your parents. And when you look at your in-laws, they live just as long as you, too, because we inherit behaviors," said Dr. David Agus of the Westside Cancer Center.