17 October 2018 - 15:53

Genes, Germs and Resources (GGR)

The project researches the role of the family and the disease environment in mortality and longevity in the Netherlands, 1812-2015. The project is granted by the Netherlands organization for Scientific Research (Free Competition Humanities, file number 360-53-180) and is co-financed by Radboud University Nijmegen (RUN) and Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). The project started in July 2014 and is supervised by prof. dr. Angélique Janssens (RUN) and prof. dr. Eline Slagboom (LUMC).

This research project proposes to study the phenomenon of familial influences on early death and exceptional survival in the Netherlands between 1812 and 2015 taking into account the simultaneous effects of resources, germs and genetic influences. 'Resources' are defined in socio-economic, and cultural terms; 'germs' refers to the disease environment, and 'genetic influences' refers to an individual's genetically determined predisposition for exceptional survival or the lack thereof. The influence of these factors will be studied through a multi-generational approach in which families are followed over a time span of 200 years. The goal is to uncover the role of familial influences on survival and the changing interactions between social-structural and biological-genetic factors in mortality and longevity within changing disease environments from the nineteenth and twentieth century’s until today. The project has several innovative aspects, under which the introduction of genetics into the study of historical mortality since recent advances in human genetics have shown the relevance of the genetic component for longevity and mortality. For more information go to the RUN project page.

The HSN will build two datasets for this project. The database 'Long Lives' starts with the HSN basic set from the birth period 1860-1875. Two groups will be distinguished: A) Persons who reached the age of 80 years or older and B) a control group with persons who died before the age of 65. From these persons data about their off spring will be gathered from the population register (second, third and fourth generation). The database 'Linked Families' will contain data from the LINKS project into a new GGR-project related format.

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