Another Genome-Wide Search for Longevity Genes

Researchers are not having as much success as they'd like in finding unambiguous associations between specific genes and human longevity - studies are turning up results, but few are similar between populations, indicating that the genetics of natural variations in longevity are probably very complex: "It has long been thought that related individuals share a familial predisposition to longevity, and for more than a century numerous studies have investigated the degree to which human longevity might be an inherited characteristic. Most studies of this type have reported small (∼10%) to moderate (∼30%) heritability of human longevity, amid differences in definitions of longevity, methods of measuring it, ascertaining individuals who demonstrate it, and in various behavioral and environmental settings. These methodological differences likely account for much of the variation in the resulting estimates of the heritability of longevity. ... We identified individuals from a large multigenerational population database (the Utah Population Database) who exhibited high levels of both familial longevity and individual longevity. This selection identified 325 related 'affected individuals', defined as those in the top quartile for both excess longevity (EL=observed lifespan - expected lifespan) and familial excess longevity (FEL=weighted average EL across all relatives). A whole-genome scan for genetic linkage was performed on this sample using a panel of 1100 microsatellite markers. A strongly suggestive peak was observed in the vicinity of D3S3547 on chromosome 3p24.1, at a point nearly identical to that reported recently by an independent team of researchers from Harvard Medical School (HMS). ... Corroboration of the linkage of exceptional longevity to 3p22-24 greatly strengthens the case that genes in this region affect variation in longevity and suggest, therefore, an important role in the regulation of human lifespan. Future efforts should include intensive study of the 3p22-24 region."



My family has multiple generations of people living into their 90s and 100s. My Great-great grandfather was 98, his daughter-102. Her daughter-99.7. The next generation of this line had three sisters into their 90s and my father is 84 and healthy as a horse. His grand and great-grandfathers were 93 and 96. My mother had two aunts into their 90s and a great-great aunt live to 100. The only folks in our family to die YOUNGER were ALL heavy smokers. My mother is a 22 year survivor of pancreatic cancer. My father was diagnosed with emphysema 22 years ago and it has not progressed. He had just quit smoking and hasn't since. Recently, he had a biopsy of his scalp and nose. He had a squamous on his head and a basal on his nose. he went back three weeks later for a MOHS treatment and they were both gone. I feel we must have protective genetic factors on both side of the family.

Posted by: Kathy Cassity at December 7th, 2013 10:53 AM
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