Objective: Resilience is proposed as a significant component of successful aging. Young adult carriers of the Serotonin Transporter Polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) short(s) allele appear to have reduced resilience to stress. We examined whether the presence of the short allele was associated with poorer emotional resilience in older adults.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study of 99 healthy, community-dwelling, older adults, we determined 5-HTTLPR genotype status and administered the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and self-reported measures of successful aging, cognition, and health.
Results: There was no significant association between the 5-HTTLPR s allele and resilience. S allele carriers had worse cognition and self-report ratings of successful aging.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the impact of the 5-HTTLPR s allele on stress-related outcomes may attenuate with older age. However, s allele status appears to be a biomarker of poorer self-rated successful aging, and cognitive performance in older adults.