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Individuals with more education tend to live longer. Genetic variants have been discovered that predict educational attainment. We tested whether a polygenic score based on these genetic variants could make predictions about people s lifespan. We used data from three cohort studies (including >130,000 participants) to examine the link between offspring polygenic score for education and parental longevity. Across the studies, we found that participants with more education-linked genetic variants had longer-living parents; compared with those with the lowest genetic education scores, those with the highest scores had parents who lived on average 6 months longer. This finding suggests the hypothesis that part of the ultimate explanation for the extended longevity of better-educated people is an underlying, quantifiable, genetic propensity.
Genetics of human lifespan: heritability, association and prediction
The broad intention is to look at similarities and differences in the genetic basis of cognition and lifespan, through GWAS of each trait and bivariate anaysis.
The proposed research is to - a) Assess the degree to which lifespan is genetic, using new methods designed for unrelated people. (b) Search across the genome for regions that are associated with longer or shorter survival. (c) Use the DNA sharing between individuals to try to predict lifespan in UK Biobank and compare to how this works in other populations available to us where individuals area all related and so share more DNA. (d) Assess the contribution of environmental factors and biomarkers such as albumin to lifespan.
Peter K. Joshi, et al. 2016 Variants near CHRNA3/5 and APOE have age- and sex-related effects on human lifespan. Nature Communications