Biogenetic mechanisms predisposing to complex phenotypes in parents may function differently in their children.


This study focuses on the participants of the Long Life Family Study to elucidate whether biogenetic mechanisms underlying relationships among heritable complex phenotypes in parents function in the same way for the same phenotypes in their children. Our results reveal 3 characteristic groups of relationships among phenotypes in parents and children. One group composed of 3 pairs of phenotypes confirms that associations among some phenotypes can be explained by the same biogenetic mechanisms working in parents and children. Two other groups including 9 phenotype pairs show that this is not a common rule. Our findings suggest that biogenetic mechanisms underlying relationships among different phenotypes, even if they are causally related, can function differently in successive generations or in different age groups of biologically related individuals. The results suggest that the role of aging-related processes in changing environment may be conceptually underestimated in current genetic association studies using genome wide resources.





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Publication Info

Kulminski, Alexander M, Konstantin G Arbeev, Kaare Christensen, Eric Stallard, Iva Miljkovic, Michael Barmada and Anatoliy I Yashin (2013). Biogenetic mechanisms predisposing to complex phenotypes in parents may function differently in their children. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 68(7). pp. 760–768. 10.1093/gerona/gls243 Retrieved from

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Alexander Kulminski

Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

Konstantin Arbeev

Associate Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

Konstantin G. Arbeev received the M.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from Moscow State University (branch in Ulyanovsk, Russia) in 1995 and the Ph.D. degree in Mathematics and Physics (specialization in Theoretical Foundations of Mathematical Modeling, Numerical Methods and Programming) from Ulyanovsk State University (Russia) in 1999. He was a post-doctoral fellow in Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (Germany) before moving to Duke University in 2004 to work as a Research Scientist and a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Sociology and the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI).  He is currently an Associate Research Professor in SSRI. Dr. Arbeev's major research interests are related to three interconnected fields of biodemography, biostatistics and genetic epidemiology as pertains to research on aging. The focus of his research is on discovering genetic and non-genetic factors that can affect the process of aging and determine longevity and healthy lifespan. He is interested in both methodological advances in this research area as well as their practical applications to analyses of large-scale longitudinal studies with phenotypic, genetic and, recently, genomic information. Dr. Arbeev authored and co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in these areas.


Anatoli I. Yashin

Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

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