December 14, 2016

Sex, Disease Resistance Linked to Elite Aging in Study of Oldest Living Dogs

At the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation’s Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies in West Lafayette, Indiana, researchers are analyzing the causes of longevity in humans by comparing them to that of older household dogs. This study reported that exceptional longevity in domesticated dogs is often correlated with “female sex and profound disease resistance”. The research conducted focused on certain Rottweilers that lived more than 30% longer than the average Rottweiler pup, which live to be approximately ten years old. This baseline (of thirteen years of age) was concluded to be equivalent to a human being living to be at least 100 years old, as the average lifespan of a human is roughly 71 years old. In dogs with such exceptional longevity, the researchers found that they had a incredible resistance to cancer. This is concluded as the Rottweilers examined that lived past thirteen years old had a cancer mortality rate of only 8%, compared to the more than 70% cancer mortality rate of dogs included under such “usual longevity”. In addition to that of the cancer statistic, 76% of the Rottweilers that lived over thirteen years were found to be free of all major diseases for those first thirteen years of their lives (equivalent to the first 100 years of a human’s life). This study is still at its early stages, and the researchers are hoping to explore more about the topic of exceptional longevity between both pet dogs and humans. In addition to this, they are also analyzing female longevity versus male longevity in both dogs and humans with hope to explore additional correlations between the two. In conclusion, human longevity and Rottweiler longevity have many correlations, and thus we can learn a lot about what causes old age in humans by first analyzing old age in pet dogs.

Walters, David J. "Sex, Disease Resistance Linked to Elite Aging in Study of Oldest-Living Dogs". Research Park News. Purdue University. 23 Apr. 2015.

Image Credit:

                                                                                                                    Reviewed by: Roxy Ackerman