Number of Genetic Markers Liked to Lifespan Triple
A new large-scale international study expands the number of genetic markers now known to be associated with exceptional longevity.
A team of researchers from the University of Connecticut, University of Exeter, University of Wisconsin, and University of Iowa discovered the genes that are responsible for prolonging human life. The scientists identified 25 genetic variants linked to human longevity.
The team studied DNA samples of 389,166 volunteers, who participated in the U.K. Biobank. The genetics of biological parents are carried in the DNA samples of every individual, this in turn, provided scientists with an opportunity of studying long lifespans.
Over the past, eight genetic variants had already been linked to lifespan, mainly variants that are involved in heart disease and dementia. The latest study reports expansion to 25 genes overall, with some specific to the lifespan of the mothers and fathers.
“We have identified new pathways that contribute to survival, as well as confirming others. These targets offer potentially modifiable targets to reduce risk of an earlier death and improve health.” said study author, Dr. Luke Pilling.
According to the findings, top 10 variants were statistically associated with parents being centenarians. A person’s lifespan is determined by factors such as lifestyle, blood pressure, and cholesterol from midlife. However, genetics as well as the lifespan of a person’s parents and other relatives also play a major role.
Genes involved in senescence played an important role in longevity. Drugs targeting senescence have already been shown to extend life for laboratory animals.
The results of this study confirm that several genetic variants combine to influence human lifespan, proving no single gene variant is responsible for longevity.
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