Longevity: Genetics


The longevity of a species refers to its maximum potential length of life. Longevity at the individual level can be regarded as an outcome of the aging process, which is both genetically and environmentally determined. Genetic studies of longevity primarily focus on the genetic variation of life span and on the genetics of exceptionally long life in human populations.

Keywords: longevity; life span; aging; heritability; association studies


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Further Reading

Christensen K and Vaupel JW (1996) Determinants of longevity: genetic, environmental and medical factors. Journal of Internal Medicine 240: 333–341.

Falconer DS (1981) Introduction to Quantitative Genetics. London, UK: Longman.

Finch CE and Tanzi RE (1997) Genetics of aging. Science 278: 407–411.

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Heijmans B, Westendorp R and Slagboom P (2000) Common gene variants, mortality and extreme longevity in humans. Experimental Gerontology 35: 865–877.

Robine JM (ed) (2001) Biodemographic Perspectives on Human Longevity. Population, An English selection, vol. 13(1), Paris: INED.

Wachter KW and Vaupel JW (eds.) (1997) Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

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Cournil, Amandine(Sep 2006) Longevity: Genetics. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0006124]