The quest for genetic determinants of human longevity: challenges and insights.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Twin studies show that genetic differences account for about a quarter of the variance in adult human lifespan. Common polymorphisms that have a modest effect on lifespan have been identified in one gene, APOE, providing hope that other genetic determinants can be uncovered. However, although variants with substantial beneficial effects have been proposed to exist and several candidates have been put forward, their effects have yet to be confirmed. Human studies of longevity face numerous theoretical and logistical challenges, as the determinants of lifespan are extraordinarily complex. However, large-scale linkage studies of long-lived families, longitudinal candidate-gene association studies and the development of analytical methods provide the potential for future progress.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Christensen, K; Johnson, TE; Vaupel, JW

Published Date

  • June 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 436 - 448

PubMed ID

  • 16708071

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2726954

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-0064

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1471-0056

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nrg1871


  • eng