Researchers here use dead people as their initial study group, an approach which has some advantages. One could imagine setting up a very large and cost-effective study based on introducing a simple skin sample procedure into standard end of life medical care, and then matching those results to genetic data drawn from existing large studies of old people. Researchers would only have to match age and gender between the deceased and living individuals from another body of study results in order to start producing value.
To investigate longevity-associated genes based on a comparison between dead and surviving populations, a total of 71 cases of dead individuals were treated as the death group, and healthy volunteers who were matched with the dead individuals based on sex and age were recruited as the survival group. Alleles of 13 CODIS short tandem repeats loci were determined. The cross-validation was performed based on differences between the two groups in both frequency values and ages.
The frequency value of the D18S51-17 alleles was significantly higher in the dead group than in the survival group, and the frequency value of the D2S1338-18 allele was statistically lower in the dead group than in the survival group. The mean age of the subjects with the D2S1338-18 allele was also significantly higher than that of the subjects without D2S1338-18, and no significant difference was observed with respect to the other three alleles. The results suggest that D2S1338-18 is associated with longevity.