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Keywords:

  • Amish;
  • longevity;
  • genetic epidemiology;
  • family-based study;
  • population isolate

Summary

Successful aging (SA) is a multidimensional phenotype involving preservation of cognitive ability, physical function, and social engagement throughout life. Multiple components of SA are heritable, supporting a genetic component. The Amish are genetically and socially isolated with homogeneous lifestyles, making them a suitable population for studying the genetics of SA. DNA and measures of SA were collected on 214 cognitively intact Amish individuals over age 80. Individuals were grouped into a 13-generation pedigree using the Anabaptist Genealogy Database. A linkage screen of 5944 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was performed using 12 informative subpedigrees with an affected-only 2-point and multipoint linkage analysis. Eleven SNPs produced 2-point LOD scores >2, suggestive of linkage. Multipoint linkage analyses, allowing for heterogeneity, detected significant LOD scores on chromosomes 6 (HLOD = 4.50), 7 (LOD*= 3.11), and 14 (HLOD = 4.17), suggesting multiple new loci underlying SA.