Researchers study ‘super seniors’ for clues to their longevity

Rare healthy old people like musician Dal Richards, 97, may lack disease susceptibility factors, researchers say

“I walk a mile every day. I think my love of music and travel, as well as the fun of leading the band and entertaining audiences keeps me healthy,” says Richards.

Brooks-Wilson and her team painstakingly gathered detailed information from 500 healthy people aged 85 to 109, mainly in the Vancouver area. The seniors provided medical, family and lifestyle information, as well as a blood sample, and were tested for physical and mental function. She and co-leader Dr. Denise Daley, of St. Paul’s Hospital and UBC, will compare the genes of the super seniors to those of more than 100,000 people, some who have cancer and some who don’t.

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