World's oldest living siblings alive 818 years and counting

The Melis family, the world's oldest siblings 
By: Shifra Unger 

A woman turned 105 this week and when adding up her age with all of her other siblings, the years amount to 818.

The Melis siblings, who live on the island of Sardinia, are officially the world's oldest, with nine brothers and sisters clocking up a total of 818 years between them, the Italian news media reported.

The older sibling, Consolata, is 105 and has nine children, 24 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren, according to the news media, adding that the longevity of the Melis siblings had been recognized as a Guinness World Record.

Consolata turned 105 on Wednesday, according to reports in the news media, adding that the certification of the Guinness World Record has been awarded after a worldwide review of seven years.

The town where the Melis siblings live is called Perdasdefogu, and is located in the southeast corner of the island, which has some of the oldest people in the world. The next oldest are Claudia 99, Mary 97, Antonio 93, Concetta 91, Adolfo 89, Vitalio 86, Vitalia 81 and Mafalda 78.

Claudia still attends church every week and Adolfo runs the local bar. Luca Deiana, professor of clinical biochemistry at the University of Sassari, Sardinia, who has studied some 2,500 centenarians on the island since 1996, said the longevity of the inhabitants of the island was due to several factors.

"On one hand it is genetics, longevity is inherited, but there is a bounty of the land and the local fruit, especially pears and plums," he told the news media. He said the local strong family traditions also contribute to a long life.