As Expected, Health is About as Heritable as Longevity

Measures of health in old age and measures of mortality and longevity should all stem from the same root causes: the state of cellular damage, the integrity of repair systems, decline in function of organs, and so on. So if one of these general measures is shown to be inherited to a given degree, you'd expect the rest to be similarly heritable.

Longevity-associated genes may modulate risk for age-related diseases and survival. The Healthy Aging Index (HAI) may be a subphenotype of longevity, which can be constructed in many studies for genetic analysis. We investigated the HAI's association with survival in the Cardiovascular Health Study and heritability in the Long Life Family Study.

The HAI includes systolic blood pressure, pulmonary vital capacity, creatinine, fasting glucose, and Modified Mini-Mental Status Examination score, each scored 0, 1, or 2 using approximate tertiles and summed from 0 (healthy) to 10 (unhealthy). In Cardiovascular Health Study, the association with mortality and accuracy predicting death were determined with Cox proportional hazards analysis and c-statistics, respectively. In Long Life Family Study, heritability was determined with a variance component-based family analysis using a polygenic model.

Cardiovascular Health Study participants with unhealthier index scores (7-10) had 2.62-fold greater mortality than participants with healthier scores (0-2). The HAI alone predicted death moderately well and slightly worse than age alone. Prediction increased significantly with adjustment for demographics, health behaviors, and clinical comorbidities. In Long Life Family Study, the heritability of the HAI was 0.295 overall, 0.387 in probands, and 0.238 in offspring.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23913930

Comments

I am not sure what his really means. The conclusion is absurd inasmuch as it does not make a conclusion other than: further study. What did the preliminary study reflect other than to quote the nomenclature of the study which means nothing to those who are unfamiliar with the terminology or the tests.

Do people whose parents live long procreate offspring that live long, or no?

Posted by: Paddycakes at August 18th, 2013 1:56 PM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.