Associations of genetics, behaviors, and life course circumstances with a novel aging and healthspan measure: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study

PLoS Medicine Jun 22, 2019

Liu Z, et al. - Via analyzing data from 2,339 adults in the Health and Retirement Study, researchers assessed associations between PhenoAge and a comprehensive set of factors—including genetic scores, childhood and adulthood circumstances, and health behavior—and investigated the relative contributions of these factors to diversity in the aging measure. The greatest contribution to variance in PhenoAge nearly followed by adulthood adversity was exhibited by the behaviors. Represented by shared childhood and adulthood factors that manifested either accelerated or decelerated phenotypic aging, subpopulations of participants were identified. Among those in the most disadvantaged subpopulation, genetic predisposition to coronary artery disease further intensified phenotypic aging. Hence, genetic, behavioral, and socioenvironmental circumstances during childhood and adulthood accounted for about 30% of differences in phenotypic aging. Further, the behavior was the greatest contribution to PhenoAge that indicated a potential policy target.

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