Genes (2019-03-01)

Exceptional Longevity and Polygenic Risk for Cardiovascular Health

  • Mary Revelas,
  • Anbupalam Thalamuthu,
  • Christopher Oldmeadow,
  • Tiffany-Jane Evans,
  • Nicola J. Armstrong,
  • Carlos Riveros,
  • John B. Kwok,
  • Peter R. Schofield,
  • Henry Brodaty,
  • Rodney J. Scott,
  • John R. Attia,
  • Perminder S. Sachdev,
  • Karen A. Mather

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 3
p. 227


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Studies investigating exceptionally long-lived (ELL) individuals, including genetic studies, have linked cardiovascular-related pathways, particularly lipid and cholesterol homeostasis, with longevity. This study explored the genetic profiles of ELL individuals (cases: n = 294, 95–106 years; controls: n = 1105, 55–65 years) by assessing their polygenic risk scores (PRS) based on a genome wide association study (GWAS) threshold of p < 5 × 10−5. PRS were constructed using GWAS summary data from two exceptional longevity (EL) analyses and eight cardiovascular-related risk factors (lipids) and disease (myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, stroke) analyses. A higher genetic risk for exceptional longevity (EL) was significantly associated with longevity in our sample (odds ratio (OR) = 1.19–1.20, p = 0.00804 and 0.00758, respectively). Two cardiovascular health PRS were nominally significant with longevity (HDL cholesterol, triglycerides), with higher PRS associated with EL, but these relationships did not survive correction for multiple testing. In conclusion, ELL individuals did not have significantly lower polygenic risk for the majority of the investigated cardiovascular health traits. Future work in larger cohorts is required to further explore the role of cardiovascular-related genetic variants in EL.