Low-oxygen environment may promote longevity in Tibet: Study

From K J M Varma Beijing, Sep 21 (PTI) Low-oxygen environments in Tibetmay be promoting longevity among the local people, accordingto a study by Chinese researchers. According to research by Zhang Yaping and Wu Dongdong atKunming College of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences,elderly people from the Tibetan Plateau have a longer lifespanthan their counterparts in others parts of China. By examining 2010 census data, researchers found that theproportion of the Tibetan population over 60 years of age wassignificantly lower than that for the Han population. However, among Tibetans there is dramatic rise in theratio of proportion of people older than 91 years old. The proportion of individuals older than 100 years of agewas also higher for male (but not female) Tibetans than forHan Chinese, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. According to the findings, published in Cell Research onSeptember 9, elderly people living on the Tibetan Plateau tendto have a longer lifespan than elderly people living at loweraltitudes, suggesting an association between hypoxia andlongevity. There have also been reports of a link between longerlife expectancy and living in the high altitude Andean regionin America, the report said. Genetic studies showed that low-oxygen environments canaccelerate the evolution of aging-associated genes, whichmight offset the effect of aging and extend lifespan, theresearchers said. PTI KJVZH

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