With the rise in popularity of gene-mapping companies such as 23 and Me, it’s more than we ever thought possible to learn about our own genomes. From disease vulnerability and food preferences to personality traits and even pet peeves, our genomes are like a map to our biological architecture.

Now, it seems our genes can tell us something we used to leave to fortune-tellers: how long we’ll live. And the surprising connection lies between intelligence and longevity: Smarter people live longer. What’s not clear yet is whether this is because smart people make smart choices (dubious) or because people whose brains are well formed may also boast similarly well-formed (read: healthy) organs and systems.

The researchers say, however, that being smarter doesn’t mean you’ll live a longer life. “Intelligence may be largely inherited, but how long you live depends on many factors and intelligence is only a small part,” said study co-author Dr. Rosalind Arden. One thing’s for certain: There’s also a link between social behavior and longevity, so no matter what your IQ is, get out there and make some friends! Have you noticed a connection between smarts and old age?



The Guardian: How Long Will I Live? The Answer May Be in the Genes