Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an inflammatory cytokine that influences the development of inflammatory and aging-related disorders and ultimately longevity. In order to study the influence of variants in genes that regulate inflammatory response on IL-6 levels and longevity, we screened a panel of 477 tag SNPs across 87 candidate genes in >5000 older participants from the population-based Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). Baseline plasma IL-6 concentration was first confirmed as a strong predictor of all-cause mortality. Functional alleles of the IL6R and PARP1 genes were significantly associated with 15%-20% higher baseline IL-6 concentration per copy among CHS European-American (EA) participants (all p<10(-4)). In a case/control analysis nested within this EA cohort, the minor allele of PARP1 rs1805415 was nominally associated with decreased longevity (p=0.001), but there was no evidence of association between IL6R genotype and longevity. The PARP1 rs1805415--longevity association was subsequently replicated in one of two independent case/control studies. In a pooled analysis of all three studies, the "risk" of longevity associated with the minor allele of PARP1 rs1805415 was 0.79 (95%CI 0.62-1.02; p=0.07). These findings warrant further study of the potential role of PARP1 genotype in inflammatory and aging-related phenotypes.