Dissecting the mechanisms underlying unusually successful human health span and life span

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32 Scopus citations


Humans age at different rates and families with exceptional survival provide the opportunity to understand why some people age slower than others. Unique features exhibited by centenarians include a family history of longevity, compression of morbidity with resultant extension of health span, and biomarkers such as low-circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and elevated high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. Given the rarity of the centenarian phenotype, it has not been surprising that the use of discovery methods that relied on common population single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to unlock the genetic determinants of exceptional longevity have not yielded significant results. Conversely, gene sequencing has resulted in discoveries of functional gene variants that support several of the centenarian phenotypes. These discoveries have led to the strategic developments of drugs that may delay aging and prolong health span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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