By Alexandra Sifferlin
August 15, 2016
TIME Health
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People with parents who live long lives may also have an increase in longevity, a new study suggests.

The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that people with at least one parent who lived past age 70 had a 16% increase in longevity.

The data looked at 186,000 people in middle age and followed them for up to eight years. Among the people in the study, those with parents who lived longer had fewer events related to heart disease like heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and high cholesterol. The risk of death from heart disease was also significantly lower, and people with parents who lived beyond 70 also had a lower risk for cancer. This could mean that people may inherit something from their parents that keeps them living longer, the researchers say.

Scientists are studying a variety of factors, from genetics to mindset, that determine how long a person lives. The latest study, while not definitive, adds support for some type of genetic effect.

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