Cumulative Inflammatory Load Is Associated with Short Leukocyte Telomere Length in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study
by Aoife O’Donovan, Matthew S. Pantell, Eli Puterman, Firdaus S. Dhabhar, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Kristine Yaffe, Richard M. Cawthon, Patricia L. Opresko, Wen-Chi Hsueh, Suzanne Satterfield, Anne B. Newman, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, Susan M. Rubin, Tamara B. Harris, Elissa S. Epel, for the Health Aging and Body Composition Study
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is an emerging marker of biological age.
Chronic inflammatory activity is commonly proposed as a promoter of
biological aging in general, and of leukocyte telomere shortening in
particular. In addition, senescent cells with critically short telomeres
produce pro-inflammatory factors. However, in spite of the proposed causal
links between inflammatory activity and LTL, there is little clinical
evidence in support of their covariation and interaction.
To address this issue, we examined if individuals with high levels of the
systemic inflammatory markers interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis
factor-α (TNF-α) and C-reactive protein (CRP) had increased odds for
short LTL. Our sample included 1,962 high-functioning adults who
participated in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study (age range:
70–79 years). Logistic regression analyses indicated that individuals
with high levels of either IL-6 or TNF-α had significantly higher odds
for short LTL. Furthermore, individuals with high levels of both IL-6 and
TNF-α had significantly higher odds for short LTL compared with those
who had neither high (OR = 0.52,
CI = 0.37–0.72), only IL-6 high
(OR = 0.57, CI = 0.39–0.83)
or only TNF-α high (OR = 0.67,
CI = 0.46–0.99), adjusting for a wide variety of
established risk factors and potential confounds. In contrast, CRP was not
associated with LTL.
Results suggest that cumulative inflammatory load, as indexed by the
combination of high levels of IL-6 and TNF-α, is associated with
increased odds for short LTL. In contrast, high levels of CRP were not
accompanied by short LTL in this cohort of older adults. These data provide
the first large-scale demonstration of links between inflammatory markers
and LTL in an older population.
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Cumulative Inflammatory Load Is Associated with Short Leukocyte
Telomere Length in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study
Syndicated from:PLoS ONE
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