Scientists seek long-lived families

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Katherine Baron, 93, still can work at her garden. The rake that she is holding is more than 100 years old. Baron lives with her daughter, Bernadette, who is 66.

Sisters Katherine Baron, Helen Molchan, Elizabeth Meloy and Margaret DeMine lack a consensus on how they have made it through nine decades of healthy living.

In separate interviews, the four oldest among nine living siblings, who grew up on a farm in Derry, Pa., allude to the benefits of staying active, declining to smoke, avoiding alcohol, even tooth-brushing religiously.

They also say credit might be owed to their forebears in the former Czechoslovakia, since one or both of their grandfathers there made it into their 90s, depending on who’s talking. Or maybe it’s all just luck.

“I don’t think we have anything in common, and I’m a twin,” said DeMine, who turns 90 in November along with Meloy, making them younger sisters of Baron, 93, and Molchan, 92.

Researchers believe healthy, long living is more than mere chance, however. They’re seeking families like the Sedlaks (the sisters’ maiden name) to provide some answers.

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