Failure of dermal protection or repair mechanisms might lead to visibly aged skin. The study aimed to identify genetic associations with perceived age. A genome-wide association study was undertaken in 423,992 adult participants of UK Biobank, using questionnaire data on perceived age and genetic data imputed to the Haplotype Reference Consortium imputation panel. The study identified 74 independently associated genetic loci, to our knowledge previously unreported (P < 5 × 10-8), which were enriched for cell signaling pathways, including the NEK6 and SMAD2 subnetworks. Common genetic variation was estimated to account for 14% of variation in perceived age, and the heritability of perceived age was partially shared with that of 75 other traits, including multiple traits representing adiposity, suggesting that perceived age may be a useful proxy trait in genetic association studies.
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