TitleLimitations and risks of meta-analyses of longevity studies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsSebastiani, P, Bae, H, Gurinovich, A, Soerensen, M, Puca, A, Perls, TT
JournalMech Ageing Dev
Date Published2017 Jan 28

Searching for genetic determinants of human longevity has been challenged by the rarity of data sets with large numbers of individuals who have reached extreme old age, inconsistent definitions of the phenotype, and the difficulty of defining appropriate controls. Meta-analysis - a statistical method to summarize results from different studies - has become a common tool in genetic epidemiology to accrue large sample sizes for powerful genetic association studies. In conducting a meta-analysis of studies of human longevity however, particular attention must be made to the definition of cases and controls (including their health status) and on the effect of possible confounders such as sex and ethnicity upon the genetic effect to be estimated. We will show examples of how a meta-analysis can inflate the false negative rates of genetic association studies or it can bias estimates of the association between a genetic variant and extreme longevity.

Alternate JournalMech. Ageing Dev.
PubMed ID28143747
Grant ListU01 AG023755 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U19 AG023122 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States