Genetic variants linked to education predict longevity
SourceProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 113, 47, (2016), pp. 13366-13371
Article / Letter to editor
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA
SubjectRadboudumc 15: Urological cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Educational attainment is associated with many health outcomes, including longevity. It is also known to be substantially heritable. Here, we used data from three large genetic epidemiology cohort studies (Generation Scotland, n = approximately 17,000; UK Biobank, n = approximately 115,000; and the Estonian Biobank, n = approximately 6,000) to test whether education-linked genetic variants can predict lifespan length. We did so by using cohort members' polygenic profile score for education to predict their parents' longevity. Across the three cohorts, meta-analysis showed that a 1 SD higher polygenic education score was associated with approximately 2.7% lower mortality risk for both mothers (total ndeaths = 79,702) and approximately 2.4% lower risk for fathers (total ndeaths = 97,630). On average, the parents of offspring in the upper third of the polygenic score distribution lived 0.55 y longer compared with those of offspring in the lower third. Overall, these results indicate that the genetic contributions to educational attainment are useful in the prediction of human longevity.
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