Favorable glucose tolerance and lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome in offspring without diabetes mellitus of nonagenarian siblings: the Leiden longevity study

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Mar;58(3):564-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.02725.x.


Objectives: To explore measures of metabolic syndrome and glucose metabolism in families with exceptional longevity.

Design: Case-control study.

Setting: A university hospital in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Participants: One hundred twenty-one offspring of nonagenarian siblings, who were enriched for familial factors promoting longevity, and 113 of their partners. No subject had diabetes mellitus.

Measurements: Prevalence of metabolic syndrome was determined according to the criteria of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program. Glucose tolerance was assessed according to a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test.

Results: The offspring of nonagenarians siblings had a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome (P=.03), similar body composition, lower mean fasting blood glucose levels (4.99 vs 5.16 mmol/L; P=.01), lower mean fasting insulin levels (5.81 vs 6.75 mU/L; P=.04), a higher mean homeostasis model assessment of insulin sensitivity (0.78 vs 0.65; P=.02), and a more-favorable glucose tolerance (mean area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for glucose (13.2 vs 14.3; P=.007) than their partners. No significant differences were observed between the offspring and their partners in beta-cell function (insulogenic index 13.6 vs 12.5; P=.38).

Conclusion: Despite similar body composition, the offspring of nonagenarian siblings showed a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome and better glucose tolerance than their partners, centralizing the role of favorable glucose metabolism in familial longevity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Linear Models
  • Longevity*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Spouses