Scientists investigate keys to living a long life

For more information, contact our Media Relations Manager, Ted Griggs, 225-763-2862 or our Communications Director, Lisa Stansbury, at 225-763-2978. Our news email box is also available at

Released: Tuesday, March 14, 2006

BATON ROUGE, La. – If you have made it to 90 years-of-age, scientists at Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) want to know how. According to Eric Ravussin, PhD., one of the designers of the study called “Healthy Aging,” only three out of 100 people born in 1916 are still living today. Researchers are trying to determine what it takes for near centenarians to make it that far in life: Do they have better genes? Better lifestyle? Better nutrition? The study will look at all three.

Center researchers are inviting residents 89 years-of-age or older and living within a 40-mile radius of Baton Rouge to participate in a study that will require two sessions with each participant. The first is a visit by researchers to the participant’s home, the next is a trip by the participants to Center’s research clinic off Perkins Road.

During the home visit, a nurse practitioner will fill out a questionnaire concerning participants’ medical history, physical activity, and foods they eat. The nurse practitioner will also measure blood pressure and weight and conduct a blood test. The Center will provide transportation for the clinic visit during which more measurements will be taken. Those who participate will be able to earn up to $350 in compensation for their time and have access to any information recorded for that individual during the study.

Healthy Aging is a study looking at four areas: genetics, metabolism, physical ability, and cognitive ability. By accurately testing each area, researchers hope to gain insight to the keys to a long and healthy life.

To volunteer for this study contact Tiffany Hall at 763-3044, or e-mail at


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.