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Journal Article

Common genetic associations between age-related diseases


Partridge,  L.
Department Partridge - Biological Mechanisms of Ageing, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Max Planck Society;

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Donertas, H. M., Fabian, D. K., Valenzuela, M. F., Partridge, L., & Thornton, J. M. (2021). Common genetic associations between age-related diseases. Nat Aging, 1(4), 400-412. doi:10.1038/s43587-021-00051-5.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-2D51-8
Age is a common risk factor in many diseases, but the molecular basis for this relationship is elusive. In this study we identified 4 disease clusters from 116 diseases in the UK Biobank data, defined by their age-of-onset profiles, and found that diseases with the same onset profile are genetically more similar, suggesting a common etiology. This similarity was not explained by disease categories, co-occurrences or disease cause-effect relationships. Two of the four disease clusters had an increased risk of occurrence from age 20 and 40 years respectively. They both showed an association with known aging-related genes, yet differed in functional enrichment and evolutionary profiles. Moreover, they both had age-related expression and methylation changes. We also tested mutation accumulation and antagonistic pleiotropy theories of aging and found support for both.