MPIDR Working Paper

A case-only approach for assessing gene-sex interaction in human longevity

Tan, Q., Yashin, A. I., Bladbjerg, E. M., De Maat, M. P. M., Andersen-Ranberg, K., Jeune, B., Christensen, K., Vaupel, J. W.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2001-012 (May 2001).
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research


As one aspect of the complex feature of longevity, gene-sex interaction plays an important role in influencing human life span. With advances in molecular genetics, more studies aimed at assessing gene-sex interaction are expected. New and valid statistical methods are needed. In this paper, we introduce a nontraditional approach, the case-only design, which was originally proposed for assessing gene and disease associations, to detect gene-sex interaction in human longevity. Applications of this method to data collected from centenarian studies show that it can produce consistent results as compared with results obtained from case-control and other approaches. Important features of the application in human longevity studies are highlighted and discussed. Since centenarians constitute a special population representing successful ageing, the easily applicable case-only approach will be an important tool for screening potential major genes that contribute to human longevity. (AUTHORS)