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Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Human Longevity

Awoyemi Abayomi Awofala, Olusegun Emmanuel Ogundele.

Human longevity, like most complex phenotypes, is thought to reflect a complex interplay of both environmental (e.g. lifestyle choices, where we live in) and genetic factors. These factors are likely to influence the basic mechanism of ageing and in turn broadly influence susceptibility to age-related illness. Thus, good lifestyle choices and conducive environment coupled with lack of genetic variants that predispose to diseases as well as having variants that confer resistance to diseases are probably vital to achieving old age. Although, the scientific understanding of the mechanism governing longevity is still sparse, understanding its biological underpinnings, including the potential contribution of genes and environment, is a key for shaping individualís lifestyle choices and developing efficacious therapeutic targets to increase lifespan. This review provides an overview of different strategies that are being integrated increasingly to extend our knowledge of the genetic and environmental underpinnings of human longevity.

Key words: Human longevity, genes, environment, epigenetics, linkage analysis association studies, gene-environment interaction

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Journal of Behavioral Health


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