27 Feb Link Between Short Telomeres and Mortality Increases with Age
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Konstantin G. Arbeev, PhD
Associate Research Professor
Biodemography of Aging Research Unit (BARU)
Social Science Research Institute (SSRI)
Dr. Abraham Aviv, MD
Director, The Center of Human Development and Aging
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: A body of research has shown that having comparatively short leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with increased risk of death in adults.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our work shows that the risk of death associated with short Leukocyte Telomere Length escalates as the individual gets older and approaches her/his life span boundary. In other words, the impact of short LTL on the individual’s survival increases with age.
Moreover, we show that this association applies to death from non-cancer causes, which include cardiovascular disease and other factors, presumably dementia, infections, etc.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: This population-based research can only suggest that Leukocyte Telomere Length may define an upper boundary of the natural life span of some humans. Examining the relation between telomere maintenance genes and mortality in large studies might provide more direct evidence of a causal role of LTL in the human life span.
Arbeev KG, Verhulst S, Steenstrup T, et al. Association of Leukocyte Telomere Length With Mortality Among Adult Participants in 3 Longitudinal Studies. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(2):e200023. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.0023
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