Heterogeneity of healthy aging: comparing long-lived families across five healthy aging phenotypes of blood pressure, memory, pulmonary function, grip strength, and metabolism.

Journal Article (Multicenter Study;Journal Article)

Five healthy aging phenotypes were developed in the Long Life Family Study to uncover longevity pathways and determine if healthy aging across multiple systems clustered in a subset of long-lived families. Using blood pressure, memory, pulmonary function, grip strength, and metabolic measures (body mass index, waist circumference and fasting levels of glucose, insulin, triglycerides, lipids, and inflammatory markers), offspring were ranked according to relative health using gender-, age-, and relevant confounder-adjusted z-scores. Based on our prior work, families met a healthy aging phenotype if ≥ 2 and ≥ 50% of their offspring were exceptionally healthy for that respective phenotype. Among 426 families, only two families met criteria for three healthy aging phenotypes and none met criteria for four or more healthy aging phenotypes. Using Spearman correlation, the proportion of offspring within families with exceptionally healthy pulmonary function was correlated with the proportion of offspring within families with exceptional strength (r = 0.19, p = 0.002). The proportion of offspring within families meeting the healthy blood pressure and metabolic phenotypes were also correlated (r = 0.14, p = 0.006), and more families were classified as meeting healthy blood pressure and metabolic phenotypes (Kappa = 0.10, p = 0.02), as well as the healthy pulmonary and blood pressure phenotypes than expected by chance (Kappa = 0.09, p = 0.03). Other phenotypes were weakly correlated (|r| ≤ 0.07) with low pairwise agreement (Kappa ≤ 0.06). Among these families selected for familial longevity, correspondence between healthy aging phenotypes was weak, supporting the heterogeneous nature of longevity and suggesting biological underpinnings of each individual phenotype should be examined separately to determine their shared and unique determinants.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Marron, MM; Wojczynski, MK; Minster, RL; Boudreau, RM; Sebastiani, P; Cosentino, S; Thyagarajan, B; Ukraintseva, SV; Schupf, N; Christensen, K; Feitosa, M; Perls, T; Zmuda, JM; Newman, AB; Long Life Family Study,

Published Date

  • August 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 383 - 393

PubMed ID

  • 31332674

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6815318

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2509-2723

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2509-2715

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11357-019-00086-y


  • eng