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Etiology of individual differences in human health and longevity
Department of Psychology, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany.
Karolinska Institutet.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology.
Karolinska Institutet.
2014 (English)In: Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, ISSN 0198-8794, Vol. 34, no 1, 189-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this chapter, we review of the field of gerontological genetics with respect to subjective and objective health, the role of stress on health, and finally frailty and longevity. For most indices of subjective and objective health, frailty, and longevity, genetic influences contribute only modestly to individual differences, wherein heritabilities are typically on the order of 35%–40%. Notable exceptions are the moderate to strong heritabilities for lipid measures and brain structure and function, with a remarkably increasing role of genetic influences for longevity with advancing age. Although candidate gene and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) studies have identified gene variants associated with many subjective and objective health traits, their effect sizes are typically relatively small, as expected for complex traits. There is some evidence for gene–environment interactions, and stress may be an important moderator of genetic variance for health. For example, carrying a risk genotype for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the angiotensin converting enzyme gene (ACE) may predict stress responsivity and risk of cardiovascular-related diagnoses. Moreover, the gene coding for apolipoprotein E (APOE) may moderate responsiveness to stress evoking experiences, impact of physical exercise, and associate with sleep characteristics in those who develop cognitive impairments. For metabolic syndrome (MetS), encompassing the co-occurrence of obesity, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, and hyperinsulinemia, promising associations exist although no single genotype or any gene clusters have been consistently associated with MetS across populations, suggesting that complex gene–environment interactions must be understood before the use of genetic markers can be realized in clinical practice. Future investigations of subjective and objective health, frailty, and longevity are needed to further identify sources of genetic and environmental contributions—and their dynamics across adulthood—to advance understanding of aging processes, prevention, and intervention avenues, and ultimately successful aging.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 34, no 1, 189-227 p.
National Category
Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25590DOI: 10.1891/0198-8794.34.189Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84908407623Local ID: HHJÖvrigtISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-25590DiVA: diva2:779432
Available from: 2015-01-12 Created: 2015-01-12 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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More styles
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