Multivariate genomic scan implicates novel loci and haem metabolism in human ageing

Paul R H J Timmers, Jim Wilson, Peter Joshi, Joris Deelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ageing phenotypes, such as years lived in good health (healthspan), total years lived (lifespan), and survival until an exceptional old age (longevity), are of interest to us all but require exceptionally large sample sizes to study genetically. Here we combine existing genome-wide association summary statistics for healthspan, lifespan, and longevity in a multivariate framework, increasing statistical power, and identified 10 genomic loci which influence all three phenotypes, of which five (near FOXO3, SLC4A7, LINC02513, ZW10, and FGD6) have not been reported previously at genome-wide significance. The majority of these 10 loci are associated with cardiovascular disease and some affect the expression of genes known to change activity with age. In total, we implicate 78 genes, and find these to be enriched for ageing pathways previously highlighted in model organisms, such as the response to DNA damage, apoptosis, and homeostasis. Finally, we identify a pathway worthy of further study: haem metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3570
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jul 2020


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