Genetic variants linked to education predict longevity

Riccardo E. Marioni, Stuart J. Ritchie, Peter K. Joshi, Saskia P. Hagenaars, Aysu Okbay, Krista Fischer, Mark J. Adams, W. David Hill, Gail Davies, Reka Nagy, Carmen Amador, Kristi Läll, Andres Metspalu, David C. Liewald, Archie Campbell, James F. Wilson, Caroline Hayward, Tõnu Esko, David J. Porteous, Catharine R. GaleIan J Deary, Social Science Genetic Association Consortium, Reka Nagy, Carmen Amador, Kristi Läll, Andres Metspalu, David Liewald, Archie Campbell, James F. Wilson, Caroline Hayward, Tonu Esko, David J. Porteous, Catherine V. Gale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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 ≈ 17,000; UK Biobank, n ≈ 115,000; and the Estonian Biobank, n ≈ 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 increase in polygenic education score was associated with an approximately 2.7% reduced mortality risk for both mothers (total ndeaths = 79,702) and an approximately 2.4% reduced 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 years longer compared to 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13366-13371
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume113
Issue number47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016

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