Monday September 23, 2019

Genes of Your Uncle or Aunt May Decide Your Longevity, Says Study

The study has led us to be far stricter in selecting the people in whom you have to look for those genes, the researchers said

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Gene triggering antibiotic reaction risk identified. Pixabay

The key to longevity can probably be found in the genes of your long-living uncles and aunts and not just parents, finds a study.

Researchers, from Netherlands’ Leiden University and US’ University of Utah, showed that an individual’s chances of dying is reduced, even if the parents themselves did not live to be extremely old, but aunts and uncles are among the top survivors in the family.

Top survivors refers to people in the top 10 per cent age-wise of a group of people born in a family within a given time period.

“We observed the more long-lived relatives you have, the lower your hazard of dying at any point in life,” said lead author Niels van den Berg, doctoral student at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

“Longevity is heritable, but that primarily applies to persons from families where multiple members are among the top 10 per cent survivors of their birth cohort. The key to a long life can probably be found in the genes of these families,” said the paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

Genes. Pixabay

For the study, the team analysed the genealogies of nearly 314,819 people from over 20,360 families.

The search for genes associated with human longevity has been ongoing for a long time but those genes turned out to be much more difficult to discover than genes for diseases.

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The study has led us to be far stricter in selecting the people in whom you have to look for those genes, the researchers said.

According to Ken Smith, Professor at Utah, the findings underscore the importance of constructing high-quality family trees that “allow us to observe complete life-spans of individuals over generations and in diverse locations. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Find Multiple Genes to Blame for Risk of Asthma, Eczema

All three diseases arise through a complex association among several genes and also with environmental and lifestyle factors, researchers said

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Researchers have found a total of 141 regions in our genetic material that largely explain the genetic risk underlying asthma, hay fever and eczema. As many as 41 of the genes identified have not previously been linked to an elevated risk for these diseases.

The study, published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, shows that the risk of developing asthma, hay fever or eczema is affected by genes, environment and lifestyle factors.

It was also noted that many patients diagnosed with one of these diseases also develop the other two at some stage in life.

“The findings are helping us to reach a greater understanding of why certain individuals are at higher risk of developing asthma and allergies and we hope the results will be put to use both in clinical diagnostics and in drug development,” said study lead author Weronica Ek from Uppsala University.

For the study, researchers analysed self-reported data from 350,000 participants. Millions of gene positions were tested for their effect on people’s risk of being diagnosed with asthma, hay fever and eczema.

Shame, Guilt, Asthma
It is not just respiratory symptoms or a feeling of tiredness that asthma sufferers have to face daily, many of them even have to deal with shame and a sense of guilt using inhalers at work. Pixabay

The 41 new genetic finds were also tested in an independent group of individuals comprising 110,000 people.

This testing verified that most of these new genetic variants have an effect on the individual’s risk of developing disease.

The study showed that a large number of the genes identified entail a raised risk for all three diseases. This, in turn, shows that the elevated risk of suffering from allergy when asthma is diagnosed or the elevated risk of asthma when allergy is diagnosed, seems to be largely due to genetic factors.

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The study was also able to identify several genes that boost the risk of one of these diseases in relation to the others, which demonstrates that a number of more disease-specific effects also exist.

All three diseases arise through a complex association among several genes and also with environmental and lifestyle factors, researchers said. (IANS)