We analysed relationship between the risk of onset of "unhealthy life" (defined as the onset of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, or diabetes) and longitudinal changes in body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, hematocrit, pulse pressure, pulse rate, and serum cholesterol in the Framingham Heart Study (Original Cohort) using the stochastic process model of human mortality and aging. The analyses demonstrate how decline in resistance to stresses and adaptive capacity accompanying human aging can be evaluated from longitudinal data. We showed how these components of the aging process, as well as deviation of the trajectories of physiological indices from those minimising the risk at respective ages, can lead to an increase in the risk of onset of unhealthy life with age. The results indicate the presence of substantial gender difference in aging related decline in stress resistance and adaptive capacity, which can contribute to differences in the shape of the sex-specific patterns of incidence rates of aging related diseases.
It is well known from epidemiology that values of indices describing physiological state in a given age may influence human morbidity and mortality risks. Studies of connection between aging and life span suggest a possibility that dynamic properties of age trajectories of the physiological indices could also be important contributors to morbidity and mortality risks. In this paper we use data on longitudinal changes in body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, pulse rate, blood glucose, hematocrit, and serum cholesterol in the Framingham Heart Study participants, to investigate this possibility in depth. We found that some of the variables describing individual dynamics of the age-associated changes in physiological indices influence human longevity and exceptional health more substantially than the variables describing physiological state. These newly identified variables are promising targets for prevention aiming to postpone onsets of common elderly diseases and increase longevity.
Small sample size of genetic data is often a limiting factor for desirable accuracy of estimated genetic effects on age-specific risks and survival. Longitudinal non-genetic data containing information on survival or disease onsets of study participants for whom the genetic data were not collected may provide an additional "reserve" for increasing the accuracy of respective estimates. We present a novel method for joint analyses of "genetic" (covering individuals for whom both genetic information and mortality/morbidity data are available) and "non-genetic" (covering individuals for whom only mortality/morbidity data were collected) subsamples of longitudinal data. Our simulation studies show substantial increase in the accuracy of estimates in such joint analyses compared to analyses based on genetic subsample alone. Application of this method to analysis of the effect of common apolipoprotein E (APOE) polymorphism on survival using combined genetic and non-genetic subsamples of the Framingham Heart Study original cohort data showed that female, but not male, carriers of the APOE e4 allele have significantly worse survival than non-carriers, whereas empirical analyses did not produce any significant results for either sex.
The aim of the study was to investigate hematopoietic injury and recovery in residents of the Techa riverside villages who had been chronically exposed to radiation as a result of the activities of the Mayak Nuclear Facility, and evaluate late effects from chronic, low-dose radiation exposures. Whole blood samples were drawn from 338 unexposed individuals resident in noncontaminated villages, and 692 individuals chronically exposed externally (to primarily gamma radiation) and internally from Sr since 1949 at decreasing dose-rates which have currently reached the background levels. The mean cumulative dose in the exposed cohort was 0.62 Gy over the years 1949 to 2008 using the Techa River Dosimetry System (TRDS) 2000. The frequency of chromosome aberrations and mutations in peripheral lymphocytes, and other aspects indicative of cellular and molecular repair of radiation damage, were measured. The subjects were divided into two study groups: (a) 171 individuals who during the early exposure period (where the highest dose-rates were prevalent) were noted to manifest leucopenia and/or were diagnosed with chronic radiation syndrome (CRS), and (b) 521 exposed individuals without cytopenia and CRS. The first group demonstrated an increased frequency of micronuclei, dicentric chromosomes, somatic mutations (CD3-CD4+cells) in lymphocytes, and mutations in the TP53 gene. In addition, they demonstrated a lower Cu/Zn-SOD concentration, a significantly increased concentration of nitric oxide, and a greater apoptotic frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes compared to exposed individuals without leucopenia. Similar to the unexposed individuals, the second group demonstrated "background levels" of mutational frequencies several years after their exposures, but they did show an increased number of cells with delayed cell cycles based on Chk-2 concentrations compared to the unexposed population. The data are consistent with the idea that a chronic radiation exposure within a dose range from 0.01 Gy to 1.96 Gy results in more severe late hematopoietic effects in a select cohort of highly radiosensitive individuals, rather than an overall increase in late effects in cells of each exposed individual. The authors state that radiation-exposed subjects demonstrating CRS showed an activation of barrier anti-oxidative stress mechanisms at late periods after radiation exposure, apparently in response to a more severe radiation damage than subjects exposed to similar radiation doses but not demonstrating CRS. Finally, the persistence of chromosome aberrations and somatic mutations in the CRS cohort is indicative of an exhaustion of the anti-oxidative stress mechanisms responding for so many years after the exposure, leading to genomic instability.
Abstract Relationships between aging, disease risks, and longevity are not yet well understood. For example, joint increases in cancer risk and total survival observed in many human populations and some experimental aging studies may be linked to a trade-off between cancer and aging as well as to the trade-off(s) between cancer and other diseases, and their relative impact is not clear. While the former trade-off (between cancer and aging) received broad attention in aging research, the latter one lacks respective studies, although its understanding is important for developing optimal strategies of increasing both longevity and healthy life span. In this paper, we explore the possibility of trade-offs between risks of cancer and selected major disorders. First, we review current literature suggesting that the trade-offs between cancer and other diseases may exist and be linked to the differential intensity of apoptosis. Then we select relevant disorders for the analysis (acute coronary heart disease [ACHD], stroke, asthma, and Alzheimer disease [AD]) and calculate the risk of cancer among individuals with each of these disorders, and vice versa, using the Framingham Study (5209 individuals) and the National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS) (38,214 individuals) data. We found a reduction in cancer risk among old (80+) men with stroke and in risk of ACHD among men (50+) with cancer in the Framingham Study. We also found an increase in ACHD and stroke among individuals with cancer, and a reduction in cancer risk among women with AD in the NLTCS. The manifestation of trade-offs between risks of cancer and other diseases thus depended on sex, age, and study population. We discuss factors modulating the potential trade-offs between major disorders in populations, e.g., disease treatments. Further study is needed to clarify possible impact of such trade-offs on longevity.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Improvements in recovery rates may contribute to an increase in healthy life expectancy. It is unclear, however, whether such changes take place because health researchers traditionally deal with changes in incidence and survival from diseases. The purpose of this study was to test for the presence of time trends in the recovery rate from stroke. METHODS: We compared age patterns of recovery rates from stroke evaluated in 2 subcohorts represented in the National Long-Term Care Survey data linked with the Medicare service use files. RESULTS: We found a statistically significant increase in recovery rate between 1994 and 1999 for females but not for males. CONCLUSIONS: Time trends in recovery rate from stroke exist and can be detected from available data. The roles of influential factors and causes of sex difference in recovery improvement deserve further studies.