Genetic Data

With financial support from the National Institute of Health's (NIH) Director's Opportunity for Research awards using American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds (RC2 AG036495-01, RC4 AG039029-01), the HRS has genotyped almost 20,000 respondents who provided DNA samples and signed consent forms in 2006-2012.

The addition of genetic data provides a major new dimension for the study and is expected to result in much deeper insights into how we age," said Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging. "With detailed information on genetic background, combined with the wealth of data on important aspects of the lives of older people, researchers will be better able to describe the spectrum of behavioral and environmental risk factors for disease and disability, as well as those that may protect our health."

Several genetic data products derived from these samples are available. Some data are distributed through the NIH GWAS repository (dbGaP) and others are HRS data products. Detailed information can be found on each product's page.

Important note concerning flipped strand issues and associated correction method:

In mid-2014, we became aware of an annotation issue with the Illumina HumanOmni2.5-v1_D manifest that caused strand flip errors in the annotation for approximately 20,000 SNPs genotyped in the Health and Retirement Study 2006/2008 samples. This manifest also served as the foundation for the 1000 Genomes imputation for those samples. We systematically investigated the problem and identified two issues with the Illumina HumanOmni2.5-v1_D manifest that led to the strand flip errors. The issues are described in detail in HRS1-2_dbGaPUserInfo_v3.pdf

In order to correct the flipped strand issue, users should take the following action. SNPs that are affected by the strand swap are flagged as problem.type2.SNP = TRUE in Users should switch the coded and non-coded allele annotation for the affected SNPs in the annotation files. For example, if coded_allele=A and noncoded_allele=T, then coded_allele should be T and noncoded _allele should be A.