About project


The persons of very old age may be a particularly useful model of successful ageing. Within an extensive anthropological survey of 300 oldest old persons (85+ yrs.) conducted in 2007/09 in retirement homes in Zagreb, a wide spectrum of data from face-to-face interviews, biometry and blood samples was collected and they form the basis of this research. The period of 10 years that has elapsed since this initial study offers  a first class possibility to detect the two key outcomes: the examinees’ survival time (and the selection of an exceptionally long-lived sub-sample) and the duration of their preserved functional ability. Both outcomes represent the endpoints according to which all studied traits will be assessed in order to elucidate those that have a crucial role in successful ageing. While most studies have focused on particular aspects of human longevity, this project aims at comprehensively  investigating the impact of numerous biological and health-related features along with different socioeconomic and psychological traits as well as life history and cultural factors (attitudes, behavior, habits). Additional data will be generated through genotyping of ˝longevity genes˝, and telomere length in the long-lived and in the newly recruited comparative sample of young persons. Also, genotyping of the pharmacogenetically relevant ADME genes will be performed in order to determine the frequency of their risk variants for adverse reactions to drugs which is of high practical importance due to the existing polypragmasy in advanced age. To achieve the aims of the project, a multidisciplinary team of investigators from the domain of anthropology, medicine, biology, psychology and economy has been set up. This investigation of successful ageing and longevity is expected to contribute to the current theories of ageing and to bring results relevant for gerontological and geriatric practice and for planning the public health and social policies in the Republic of Croatia.