Negative affect such as depression and anxiety has been reported to be associated with morbidity and mortality, and polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter (5HTT) gene may be associated with such affect disorders. Hypothesizing that 5HTT gene polymorphisms could influence human longevity via negative affect; we compared the polymorphic variation of the 5HTT gene between 265 Japanese centenarians and control subjects. In addition, we evaluated the relationships between the 5HTT genotype and the physical, cognitive, and biologic status of centenarians, as indicated by the Barthel Index, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and serum albumin concentration, respectively. The frequency of the l/l genotype and the l allele was significantly greater in centenarians than in younger control subjects, particularly women. A significant effect of the 5HTT genotype on serum albumin concentration was observed in both sexes. Although, there was sex optionality, the l allele may carry a longevity advantage possibly through behavioral mechanisms.
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