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Hormones May Hold Clues to Healthy Aging

Posted: June 22, 2006

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Low levels of adiponectin may contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes or plaque deposits in the arteries. This combination of conditions is also called metabolic syndrome.

"We found significant differences in the centenarian women compared to other groups," Baranowska-Bik said. "We found that our centenarian women were healthier than the other women."

"The most important finding was that adiponectin levels were significantly higher in centenarian women," Baranowska-Bik added. "This may be connected with metabolic status and also with getting old and longevity."

The Polish team found that the "100-plus" group of women, in addition to having significantly higher levels of adiponectin, also had much lower levels of both insulin and the fat hormone leptin. They also scored better with respect to insulin resistance and total cholesterol.

Moreover, compared with the obese women, the oldest women had significantly fewer signs of high blood pressure and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. "In addition, these women had significantly lower incidence of high cholesterol and insulin resistance, which are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome," Baranowska-Bik said.