Genome-wide association studies in aging-related processes such as diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and cancer

Exp Gerontol. 2008 Jan;43(1):39-43. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2007.09.005. Epub 2007 Sep 29.


Recent technological developments allow to genotype several hundreds of thousands of genetic variants in a single person in one step. This enables genome-wide association studies (GWAS) by genotyping a large number of patients with diseases of interest and controls at reasonable costs. Compared to a hypothesis-driven candidate gene approach the hypothesis-free GWAS can identify new susceptibility genes without making any a priori biological assumptions. They permit to identify genes involved in pathways which until now were unknown to be involved in a certain phenotype. GWAS are therefore a new and very powerful tool to identify genetic contributors to aging-related phenotypes. This paper provides a short overview about design and methods of GWAS and reviews recent advances in the identification of susceptibility genes for type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and cancer using GWAS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome, Human*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers