Scientists looking for the secret long life say good genes will more likely help you to reach 100 than a healthy lifestyle.
Previous work indicated that the health and diet habits of centenarians are similar to those of the average person, suggesting their genetic make-up could contribute to successful aging.
Now scientists at Stanford University and the University of Bologna have found gene regions associated with extreme longevity.
These gene regions are known to be involved in various processes including autoimmunity, cell signalling and Alzheimer's disease.
Most people have genetic errors, which eventually interfere with important processes such as immunity and cell growth, but they appear faultless in people who remain active and alert at very old ages.
Researchers say the incidence of nearly all diseases increases with age, so understanding genetic factors for successful aging could have a large impact on health.