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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011 Mar;66(3):279-86. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glq190. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Can rodent longevity studies be both short and powerful?

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1
Section on Statistical Genetics, Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0022, USA.

Abstract

Many rodent experiments have assessed effects of diets, drugs, genes, and other factors on life span. A challenge with such experiments is their long duration, typically over 3.5 years given rodent life spans, thus requiring significant time costs until answers are obtained. We collected longevity data from 15 rodent studies and artificially truncated them at 2 years to assess the extent to which one will obtain the same answer regarding mortality effects. When truncated, the point estimates were not significantly different in any study, implying that in most cases, truncated studies yield similar estimates. The median ratio of variances of coefficients for truncated to full-length studies was 3.4, implying that truncated studies with roughly 3.4 times as many rodents will often have equivalent or greater power. Cost calculations suggest that shorter studies will be more expensive but perhaps not so much to not be worth the reduced time.

PMID:
21051569
PMCID:
PMC3041472
DOI:
10.1093/gerona/glq190
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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