The major trait characterizing offspring in centenarians is a reduction in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Because a pro-inflammatory genotype seems to contribute significantly to the risk of coronary heart disease, alleles associated with disease susceptibility would not be included in the genetic background favoring longevity, as suggested by our previous studies on inflammatory cytokines. To confirm whether genotypes of inflammatory molecules play an opposite role in atherosclerosis and longevity, we are studying the role of other proinflammatory alleles, such as pyrin and CCR5, in acute myocardial infarction and longevity. The results support the hypothesis that the genetic background favoring cardiovascular diseases is detrimental to longevity. In addition, they suggest that the centenarian genetic background may be useful for investigating genetic key components of age-associated diseases that are characterized by a multifactorial etiology.