Healthy aging is thought to reflect the combined influence of environmental factors (lifestyle choices) and genetic factors. To explore the genetic contribution, we undertook a genome-wide association study of exceptional longevity (EL) in 1055 centenarians and 1267 controls. Using these data, we built a genetic model that includes 150 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and found that it could predict EL with 77% accuracy in an independent set of centenarians and controls. Further in-silico analysis revealed that 90% of centenarians can be grouped into 19 clusters characterized by different combinations of SNP genotypes-or genetic signatures-of varying predictive value. The different signatures, which attest to the genetic complexity of EL, correlated with differences in the prevalence and age of onset of age-associated diseases (e.g., dementia, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease) and may help dissect this complex phenotype into subphenotypes of healthy aging.
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