Intrapair differences of physical aging and longevity in identical twins.
The genetic and environmental contributions to physical aging (hair graying, balding, presbyopia) and longevity (age at death) were examined by within-pair comparison in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins in later adulthood. Physical aging was investigated on 135 pairs of adult twins aged over 50. Hair graying and hair loss (baldness) showed significantly higher rates of concordance in the MZ twins than in the DZ twins. The intrapair difference of the degree of hair graying was negligible in 79%, slight in 15% and striking in 5% among the MZ pairs; while negligible in 40%, slight in 50% and striking in 10% among the DZ pairs. The intrapair difference of the degree of hair loss was negligible in 92%, slight in 8% (and striking in none) among the MZ pairs; while negligible in 69%, slight in 25% and striking in 6% among the DZ pairs. The age at onset of presbyopia showed a slightly higher rate of concordance in the MZ than in the DZ pairs. Longevity (age at death) was surveyed on 184 pairs of twins who died at over 40 years of age. The intrapair difference of longevity was 6.65 +/- 5.6 years (maximum 18.0; minimum 0.04) in the MZ pairs, and 8.66 +/- 7.2 years (maximum 18.6; minimum 2.9) in the DZ pairs. The MZ pairs showed a slightly smaller within-pair difference of longevity than the DZ pairs.
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