Understanding the role of genetic factors in non-Mendelian traits characteristic for post-reproductive life, herein referred to as age-related traits, is lagged behind the understanding of the genetic architecture of Mendelian traits. This lag calls for new, more comprehensive approaches in the analyses of age-related traits leveraging their characteristic features. This paper discusses the role of the inherent heterogeneity in genetic predisposition to age-related traits and pleiotropy. It shows that the comprehensive analyses leveraging such heterogeneity can substantially increase the efficiency and accelerate the progress in uncovering genetic predisposition to such traits.
Keywords: age-related traits; aging; genetic association studies; pleiotropy.