Previous studies identified genes coding for proteins that might play an important role in longevity, including insulin-like growth factor-1. Some people have a variant of IGF-1 that becomes less active over time, and this can slow the ageing process.
But when Stuart Kim of Stanford University in California and his colleagues compared the genomes of 16 women and one man aged 110 or older with those of 34 people aged 21 to 79, they found no significant differences in IGF-1 or any other gene (PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112430). Ironically, one supercentenarian woman had a gene variant known to raise the risk of sudden death through irregular heart rhythms.
So get back to your eating and exercise! 🙂 I’d argue about sample size, but there aren’t many supercentenarians to draw from. Though with technology, given time (heh) we’re likely to build up a sizable sample for better conclusions.
Biologically, longevity isn’t something that would have evolved. It’s counterproductive – more resource competition and less emphasis on evolution (breeding, biodiversity, generational turnover).