Genes that make you clever also help you live longer

A study by the London School of Economics found that genetically smarter siblings are more likely to outlive their less clever brothers and sisters

Alexandra Sims
Wednesday 29 July 2015 19:18
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Scientists examined the differences in longevity between identical and non-identical twins
Scientists examined the differences in longevity between identical and non-identical twins

Intelligent people are not only smarter than the average person - it seems they could also live longer as well.

A study by the London School of Economics found that smarter siblings are more likely to outlive their less clever brothers and sisters, with genetics accounting for 95 per cent of the connection between intelligence and life span.

The scientists examined the differences in longevity between identical twins, who share all of their genes and non-identical twins, who on average share half of their genes.

Writing in the International Journal of Epidemiology, scientists noted the difference in intellect between the twins and the age at which they died.

Focusing on three different twin studies from Sweden, Denmark and the United States the researchers examined sets of twins for whom both intelligence and age of death had been recorded in pairs where at least one of the twins had died.

In both types of twins it was found that the smarter of the two lived longer, but this effect was far more prominent in non-identical twins.

She added though that the research does not mean parents can "deduce your child’s likely lifespan from how he or she does in their exams this summer”.

Arden added that it was still not understood why those who score higher in IQ tests and who are at the top of the employment hierarchy are prone to living longer.

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