Elderly Jewish New Yorkers May Hold Secret to Long Life

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Cornell University researchers are about to begin studying the stem cells of a dozen elderly Jewish New Yorkers to figure out how they manage to live so long. There's evidence of a "longevity gene" which protects against heart disease and cancer; a lot of these seniors are living to 100 despite bad habits like drinking and smoking. Are smoking, drinking, eating fatty foods, and being of Ashkenazi Jewish descent the secrets to long life? (I've got four out of four, what about you?)

The study will go like this:

Evans' team extracts stem cells from the senior citizens' blood, then transforms them into cells of vital organs that incorporate the healthy gene signatures.

The engineered cells will undergo harsh stress tests, then be examined to see how they fared.

The engineered cells will be compared with those of people who don't have the same kind of longevity. Apparently Eastern European Jews have very low rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegeneration and diabetes. It's in our genes! Maybe this explains why my grandfather is 87 and the picture of health? Why this woman the Post talked to, who is 98, eats bratwurst and chocolate and drinks wine and looks incredible? (Click through. How is she 98?). In conclusion, I'm not going to worry about quitting smoking yet. 

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

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Well, I'd certainly like to see who these Eastern European Jews are as they certainly aren't my family!!  Both my Mom and Dad's sides are from Poland and they were riddled with  all kinds of heart disease as well as diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcers, GERD, dyriticulitis and mental illness.  One family member lived till 92 one died at 84, my Aunt is gonna be 83 and all the rest didn't live to see 80.All the rest died between 65 and 78. And, I had lots of extended family on both sides.  My young cousins are riddled with diabetes and one had a heart attack at 45.


I am Ashkenazi (both parents) and heart disease, diabetes and cancer is abundant on both sides of my family. Study is too narrow!


A carefully shaped 'scientific investigation' can have any outcome, based on selectivity. There are pros of advanced aging in all cultures and, ahem, bloodlines. This article has the whiff of eugenics about it. Gross!

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