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Understanding longevity: an epidemiological study of genetics, disease and life-style

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Simon Richard White.

Public health scientists have contributed to an impressive gain in average life expectancy, epidemiologists have identified numerous determinants of survival, and in addition, geneticists have demonstrated that longevity is heritable. Yet, prediction of an individual’s life expectancy over long time periods, an understanding of the mechanisms behind established risk factors for healthy ageing – such as obesity or well-being – and identification of the specific genetic variations related to ageing have all remained elusive.

Dr. Tiemeier will present a series of his recent genetic and non-genetic epidemiological studies of longevity in the Rotterdam Study cohort (n=15,000 persons, 1990-2011). He will discuss the obesity paradox and introduce studies of selected survival risk factors, e.g. happiness. The results of a several large GWA studies of longevity, which his group conducted, are shown. Finally, current analyses are presented that demonstrate how well we can predict mortality if we integrate GWA data and more than 100 established non-genetic risk factors. Against this background he will discuss future opportunities and challenges in epidemiological longevity research.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill seminars at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health series.

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