Evidences are accumulating on the effects of the variability of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) on many complex traits. In particular, mtDNA haplogroup J has been reported to increase the individual chance to attain longevity in northern Italians, Northern Irish and Finns. However, since the genetic contribution to longevity may be population specific, we wanted to verify if haplogroup J does affect longevity also in a southern European population having a different genetic and environmental history. We analysed a population sample (883 subjects, 371 males and 521 females; age range 18-108 years) from southern Italy for the presence of haplogroup J. No frequency increase of this mtDNA haplogroup was found in the older cohorts, suggesting that, in this population, haplogroup J does not play a significant role in longevity. This finding shows that, as for other genetic factors, the association of mtDNA inherited variability with longevity is population specific.
- Genetic variability
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