Lifespans of Twins: Does Zygosity Matter?

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Abstract

Studies with twins provide fundamental insights to lifespans of humans. We aim to clarify if monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals differ in lifespan, that is, if zygosity matters. We investigate whether a possible difference in mortality after infancy between zygosities is stable in different age cohorts, and whether the difference remains when twins with unknown zygosity are taken into account. Further, we compare the distribution of long-livers, that is, the upper-tail of the lifespan distribution, between monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twin individuals. The Danish Twin Registry provides a nationwide cohort of 109,303 twins born during 1870 to 1990 with valid vital status. Standard survival analysis is used to compare mortality in monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals and twin individuals with unknown zygosity. The mortality of monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals differs slightly after taking into consideration effects of birth- and age-cohorts, gender differences, and that twins are paired. However, no substantial nor systematic differences remain when taking twins with unknown zygosity into account. Further, the distribution of long-livers is very similar by zygosity, suggesting the same mortality process. The population-based and oldest twin cohort ever studied suggests that monozygotic and dizygotic twins have similar lifespans.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE166
JournalGenes
Volume10
Issue number2
Number of pages10
ISSN2073-4425
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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Dizygotic Twins
Monozygotic Twins
Twin Studies
Liver
Survival Analysis
Registries
Population

Keywords

  • Lifespan
  • Mortality
  • Twins
  • Zygosity
  • Unknown zygosity
  • Cumulative incidence curves
  • age-stratification
  • long-livers

Cite this

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title = "Lifespans of Twins: Does Zygosity Matter?",
abstract = "Studies with twins provide fundamental insights to lifespans of humans. We aim to clarify if monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals differ in lifespan, that is, if zygosity matters. We investigate whether a possible difference in mortality after infancy between zygosities is stable in different age cohorts, and whether the difference remains when twins with unknown zygosity are taken into account. Further, we compare the distribution of long-livers, that is, the upper-tail of the lifespan distribution, between monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twin individuals. The Danish Twin Registry provides a nationwide cohort of 109,303 twins born during 1870 to 1990 with valid vital status. Standard survival analysis is used to compare mortality in monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals and twin individuals with unknown zygosity. The mortality of monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals differs slightly after taking into consideration effects of birth- and age-cohorts, gender differences, and that twins are paired. However, no substantial nor systematic differences remain when taking twins with unknown zygosity into account. Further, the distribution of long-livers is very similar by zygosity, suggesting the same mortality process. The population-based and oldest twin cohort ever studied suggests that monozygotic and dizygotic twins have similar lifespans.",
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author = "Jacob Hjelmborg and Larsen, {Pia Veldt} and Jaakko Kaprio and Matt McGue and Thomas Scheike and Philip Hougaard and Kaare Christensen",
year = "2019",
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Lifespans of Twins : Does Zygosity Matter? / Hjelmborg, Jacob; Larsen, Pia Veldt; Kaprio, Jaakko; McGue, Matt; Scheike, Thomas; Hougaard, Philip; Christensen, Kaare.

In: Genes, Vol. 10, No. 2, E166, 02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Lifespans of Twins

T2 - Does Zygosity Matter?

AU - Hjelmborg, Jacob

AU - Larsen, Pia Veldt

AU - Kaprio, Jaakko

AU - McGue, Matt

AU - Scheike, Thomas

AU - Hougaard, Philip

AU - Christensen, Kaare

PY - 2019/2

Y1 - 2019/2

N2 - Studies with twins provide fundamental insights to lifespans of humans. We aim to clarify if monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals differ in lifespan, that is, if zygosity matters. We investigate whether a possible difference in mortality after infancy between zygosities is stable in different age cohorts, and whether the difference remains when twins with unknown zygosity are taken into account. Further, we compare the distribution of long-livers, that is, the upper-tail of the lifespan distribution, between monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twin individuals. The Danish Twin Registry provides a nationwide cohort of 109,303 twins born during 1870 to 1990 with valid vital status. Standard survival analysis is used to compare mortality in monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals and twin individuals with unknown zygosity. The mortality of monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals differs slightly after taking into consideration effects of birth- and age-cohorts, gender differences, and that twins are paired. However, no substantial nor systematic differences remain when taking twins with unknown zygosity into account. Further, the distribution of long-livers is very similar by zygosity, suggesting the same mortality process. The population-based and oldest twin cohort ever studied suggests that monozygotic and dizygotic twins have similar lifespans.

AB - Studies with twins provide fundamental insights to lifespans of humans. We aim to clarify if monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals differ in lifespan, that is, if zygosity matters. We investigate whether a possible difference in mortality after infancy between zygosities is stable in different age cohorts, and whether the difference remains when twins with unknown zygosity are taken into account. Further, we compare the distribution of long-livers, that is, the upper-tail of the lifespan distribution, between monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twin individuals. The Danish Twin Registry provides a nationwide cohort of 109,303 twins born during 1870 to 1990 with valid vital status. Standard survival analysis is used to compare mortality in monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals and twin individuals with unknown zygosity. The mortality of monozygotic and dizygotic twin individuals differs slightly after taking into consideration effects of birth- and age-cohorts, gender differences, and that twins are paired. However, no substantial nor systematic differences remain when taking twins with unknown zygosity into account. Further, the distribution of long-livers is very similar by zygosity, suggesting the same mortality process. The population-based and oldest twin cohort ever studied suggests that monozygotic and dizygotic twins have similar lifespans.

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KW - age-stratification

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SN - 2073-4425

IS - 2

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ER -