Longevity: to Melis Family from Perdasdefogu (Sardinia Island) the new world record for the highest combined age for nine living siblings (21 August 2012)

A family from Perdasdefogu (Sardinia Island) have set a new world record for longevity, taking the title for the highest combined age for nine living siblings.The three brothers and six sisters from the Melis family had a collective age of 818 years and 205 days verified by Guinness World Records on June 1st, after seven years of careful investigation, by the Guinness World Records researchers.
Demographic analysis in the Mediterranean island of Sardinia revealed an extreme longevity in a mountain inner area where the proportion of oldest subjects among male population has one of the highest validated value worldwide. Many studies on longevity in the population of Sardinia (NIH, CNR, etc) suggest that biological and genetic factors, behavioral factors including life style, food quality, demographic behavior, family support and community characteristics may play an important role. Sardinia, which was first settled around 6,000 B.C., is home to one of the world's few "founder" populations. These populations, including those located in Iceland, Finland and French-speaking Quebec, arose from small numbers of individuals.

The eldest of the siblings is Consolata, who turns 105 years tomorrow, followed by 99-year-old Claudina, who was seen Sunday in the front row at morning Mass in the local church of St. Peter.Next is Maria (not pictured), at 97; Antonio at 93; Concetta aged 91; followed by 89-year-old Adolfo who still works in a local bar. Other siblings include Vitalio, 81, Fida, 80, and finally the baby of the bunch, 78-year-old Mafalda, who lives in Cagliari with Vitalio.
According to local newspaper La Nuova Sardegna ("È una famiglia di Perdasdefogu la più longeva di tutto il pianeta", 20 Agosto 2012) the eldest sibling Consolata claims to be happiest because she is surrounded by nine children, 24 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren.
Commenting this record, Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief for Guinness World Records said: "The Mediterranean lifestyle is always held up as being beneficial to a long, healthy life, and Italians in particular feature prominently in the list of supercentenarians and centenarians".
"On the one hand it is about genetics, about inherited longevity, as shown by the fact that the surnames of centenarians crop up again and again" told to Corriere della Sera ("Una famiglia da Guiness: 9 fratelli per 818 anni", 20 Agosto 2012) Luca Deiana, a professor of clinical biochemistry from the University of Sassari in Sardinia.
Andrea Mameli www.linguaggiomacchina.it 21 Agosto 2012
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