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jtitle_s:("Age (dodr)")
1.  Lipid metabolism in long-lived families: the Leiden Longevity Study 
Age  2010;33(2):219-227.
Mechanisms underlying the variation in human life expectancy are largely unknown, but lipid metabolism and especially lipoprotein size was suggested to play an important role in longevity. We have performed comprehensive lipid phenotyping in the Leiden Longevity Study (LLS). By applying multiple logistic regression analysis we tested for the first time the effects of parameters in lipid metabolism (i.e., classical serum lipids, lipoprotein particle sizes, and apolipoprotein E levels) on longevity independent of each other. Parameters in lipid metabolism were measured in offspring of nonagenarian siblings from 421 families of the LLS (n = 1,664; mean age, 59 years) and in the partners of the offspring as population controls (n = 711; mean age, 60 years). In the initial model, where lipoprotein particles sizes, classical serum lipids and apolipoprotein E were included, offspring had larger low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle sizes (p = 0.017), and lower triglyceride levels (p = 0.026), indicating that they displayed a more beneficial lipid profile. After backwards regression only LDL size (p = 0.014) and triglyceride levels (p = 0.05) were associated with offspring from long-lived families. Sex-specific backwards regression analysis revealed that LDL particle sizes were associated with male longevity (increase in log odds ratio (OR) per unit = 0.21; p = 0.023). Triglyceride levels (decrease OR per unit = 0.22; p = 0.01), but not LDL particle size, were associated with female longevity. Due to the analysis of a comprehensive lipid profile, we confirmed an important role of lipid metabolism in human longevity, with LDL size and triglyceride levels as major predicting factors.
doi:10.1007/s11357-010-9172-6
PMCID: PMC3127468  PMID: 20811950
Human longevity; Triglycerides; HDL cholesterol; LDL cholesterol; Lipoprotein particle size; Apolipoprotein E
2.  Gene set analysis of GWAS data for human longevity highlights the relevance of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling and telomere maintenance pathways 
Age  2011;35(1):235-249.
In genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of complex traits, single SNP analysis is still the most applied approach. However, the identified SNPs have small effects and provide limited biological insight. A more appropriate approach to interpret GWAS data of complex traits is to analyze the combined effect of a SNP set grouped per pathway or gene region. We used this approach to study the joint effect on human longevity of genetic variation in two candidate pathways, the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) signaling (IIS) pathway and the telomere maintenance (TM) pathway. For the analyses, we used genotyped GWAS data of 403 unrelated nonagenarians from long-lived sibships collected in the Leiden Longevity Study and 1,670 younger population controls. We analyzed 1,021 SNPs in 68 IIS pathway genes and 88 SNPs in 13 TM pathway genes using four self-contained pathway tests (PLINK set-based test, Global test, GRASS and SNP ratio test). Although we observed small differences between the results of the different pathway tests, they showed consistent significant association of the IIS and TM pathway SNP sets with longevity. Analysis of gene SNP sets from these pathways indicates that the association of the IIS pathway is scattered over several genes (AKT1, AKT3, FOXO4, IGF2, INS, PIK3CA, SGK, SGK2, and YWHAG), while the association of the TM pathway seems to be mainly determined by one gene (POT1). In conclusion, this study shows that genetic variation in genes involved in the IIS and TM pathways is associated with human longevity.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9340-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9340-3
PMCID: PMC3543749  PMID: 22113349
Genetics; Aging; Longevity; Gene set analysis; Insulin/IGF-1 signaling; Telomere maintenance
3.  High serum glucose levels are associated with a higher perceived age 
Age  2011;35(1):189-195.
Estimating perceived age by facial photographs is a good estimate of health in elderly populations. Previously, we showed that familial longevity is marked by a more beneficial glucose metabolism already at middle age. As glucose is also related to skin aging, this study aimed to investigate the association between glucose metabolism and perceived age. Perceived age was assessed using facial photographs and non-fasted glucose and insulin were measured in 602 subjects from the Leiden Longevity Study. Non-diabetic subjects (n = 569) were divided in three strata according to their glucose levels, and diabetic subjects (n = 33; as a proxy of long-term hyperglycemic exposure) were included as a fourth stratum. Considered confounding factors were gender, chronological age, current smoking, body mass index, photo-damage score, and insulin levels. Perceived age was increased from 59.6 years (SE = 0.3) in the first stratum to 61.2 years (SE = 0.6) in diabetic subjects (p for trend = 0.002). In non-diabetic subjects only, perceived age was increased from 59.6 years (SE = 0.3) in the first stratum to 60.6 years (SE = 0.3) in the third stratum (p for trend = 0.009). Continuously, perceived age increased 0.40 years (SE = 0.14, p = 0.006) per 1 mmol/L increase in glucose level in non-diabetic subjects. The present study demonstrates that, also among non-diabetic subjects, higher glucose levels are associated with a higher perceived age. Future research should be focused on elucidating possible mechanisms linking glucose levels to perceived age.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9339-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9339-9
PMCID: PMC3543736  PMID: 22102339
Perceived age; Serum glucose levels; Diabetes; Aging
4.  Morphometric skin characteristics dependent on chronological and biological age: the Leiden Longevity Study 
Age  2011;34(6):1543-1552.
The effect of chronological age on skin characteristics is readily visible, and its underlying histological changes have been a field of study for several years. However, the effect of biological age (i.e. a person’s rate of ageing compared to their chronological age) on the skin has so far only been studied in facial photographs. Skin biopsies obtained from middle-aged offspring of nonagenarian siblings that are genetically enriched for longevity were compared to their partners who represent the general Dutch population. Though of the same chronological age, the offspring were previously observed to be of a younger biological age than their partners. The biopsies were analysed on several aspects epidermal and elastic fibre morphology. We investigated whether these skin characteristics were dependent on chronological age, familial longevity (the difference between the offspring and partners) and Framingham heart risk scores, adjusted for external stressors. A decreased thickness and flattening of the epidermis as well as an increased amount of elastic fibres in the reticular dermis were observed with chronological age (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively), but no effect of familial longevity was found. The Framingham heart risk score was associated with some skin characteristics. A slower rate of skin ageing does not mark offspring from nonagenarian siblings. Epidermal and elastic fibre morphometric characteristics are not a potential marker for familial longevity in middle-aged subjects enriched for familial longevity.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9314-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9314-5
PMCID: PMC3528376  PMID: 21909657
Skin ageing; Chronological age; Biological age; Familial longevity; Epidermis; Elastic fibres
5.  Serum triiodothyronine levels and inflammatory cytokine production capacity 
Age  2011;34(1):195-201.
Increasing evidence suggests that pro-inflammatory cytokines are at play in lowering peripheral thyroid hormone levels during critical illness. Conversely, thyroid hormones have been suggested to enhance production of inflammatory cytokines. In view of these considerations, we hypothesized a mutual association between triiodothyronine and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore we evaluated the relation between both circulating and induced inflammatory markers and serum thyroid function parameters in the Leiden 85-plus Study. We found that higher circulating levels of inflammatory markers were associated with lower levels of free serum triiodothyronine. In turn, higher serum free triiodothyronine levels were related to higher production capacity of pro-inflammatory cytokines after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. By combining in vivo and ex vivo data, we were able to demonstrate for the first time the existence of a potential feedback mechanism between thyroid function and immune production capacity. We conclude that maintenance of normal thyroid function might be important for a preserved immune response in elderly human populations.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9220-x
PMCID: PMC3260363  PMID: 21350816
Thyroid; Inflammation; Aging; Humans
6.  C-reactive protein and glucose regulation in familial longevity 
Age  2011;33(4):623-630.
Earlier, we showed that the offspring from exceptionally long-lived families have a more favorable glucose metabolism when compared with controls. As chronic low-grade inflammation has been regarded as a strong risk factor for insulin resistance, we evaluated if and to what extent the favorable glucose metabolism in offspring from long-lived families could be explained by differences in subclinical inflammation, as estimated from circulating levels of C-reactive protein. We found no difference between the two groups in C-reactive protein levels or in the distribution of C-reactive protein haplotypes. However, among controls higher levels of C-reactive protein were related to higher glucose levels, whereas among offspring levels of C-reactive protein were unrelated to glucose levels. It is a limitation of the current study that its cross-sectional nature does not allow for assessment of cause–effect relationships. One possible interpretation of these data is that the offspring from long-lived families might be able to regulate glucose levels more tightly under conditions of low-grade inflammation. To test this hypothesis, our future research will be focused on assessing the robustness of insulin sensitivity in response to various challenges in offspring from long-lived families and controls.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9206-8
PMCID: PMC3220397  PMID: 21246407
C-reactive protein; Insulin resistance; Humans; Longevity

Results 1-6 (6)