Allelic variation and human longevity.

Authors:
Almut Nebel, Stefan Schreiber
Year of publication:
2005
Volume:
2005
Issue:
29
Issn:
1539-6150
Journal title abbreviated:
Sci Aging Knowledge Environ
Journal title long:
Science of aging knowledge environment : SAGE KE
Abstract: 
Human longevity is a complex phenotype with a strong genetic contribution. The search for allelic variation that impacts on longevity often involves population-based association studies of long-lived individuals (centenarians and nonagenarians) and younger controls. A major methodological problem with this approach is that the cases and controls in these experiments are often born several generations apart. The inherent absence of "age matching" can lead to serious misinterpretations. For example, allele frequency differences between long-lived individuals and younger controls may not reflect an effect on longevity but rather a change in population structure over time or different gene-environment interactions across generations.