Mitochondrial J haplogroup is associated with lower blood pressure and anti-oxidant status: Findings in octononagenarians from the BELFAST Study

Irene Maeve Rea, Susan E. McNerlan, G. Pooler Archbold, Derek Middleton, Martin D. Curran, Ian S. Young, Owen A. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Mitochondria produce cellular energy but also free-radicals, which damage cells despite an array of endogenous anti-oxidants. In Northern Europe, the mitochondrial haplogroup J has been related to longevity in nonagenarians and centenarians but also with age-related disease. Hypertension is an important contributor to atherosclerotic-related diseases and its pathogenesis is associated with increased oxidative stress. In this study, we questioned whether J haplogroup octononagenarians from the Belfast Elderly Longitudinal Free-living Elderly STudy (BELFAST) study showed evidence of protective blood pressure or anti-oxidant profile which might explain their longevity advantage. Briefly, in a cross-sectional study, community-living, mentally alert (Folstein >2530), octononagenarian subjects, recruited for good health, were enlisted and consented as part of the BELFAST study, for blood pressure, anthropometricmeasurements and blood sampling. DNA typing for mitochondrial haplotypes was carried out with measurements for enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. J haplogroup carriers showed lower systolic blood pressure and glutathione peroxidase activity (Gpx) with higher folate measurements. There was no change in urate, bilirubin, albumin or nutrition-related antioxidants-selenium or vitamins A, C and α and ? carotene. BELFAST study mtDNA J haplogroup octononagenarians showed lower blood pressure and reduced glutathione peroxidase activity and higher folate, but no change for other antioxidants. These findings are of interest in view of mtDNA J haplogroup's association with increased age in some previous studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1456
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Antioxidant status
  • Blood pressure
  • C
  • Carotene
  • E
  • Glutathione peroxidase activity
  • J mitochondrial haplogroup
  • Longevity
  • Urate
  • Vitamins A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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