Leukocyte telomere length is associated with disability in older u.s. Population.


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether mean leukocyte telomere length (LTL) serves as a biomarker of disability assessed according to activities of daily living (ADLs) and what factors may modify this relationship. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. SETTING: A subset of the National Long Term Care Survey (NTLCS), a Medicare-based U.S. population longitudinal study focused on trends of overall health and functional status in older adults. PARTICIPANTS: Six hundred and twenty-four individuals from the 1999 wave of the NTLCS cohort. MEASUREMENTS: Relative LTL determined according to quantitative polymerase chain reaction. LTL has previously been shown to correlate with common age-related disorders and mortality, as well as with socioeconomic status. RESULTS: A sex difference in LTL was observed but not age-dependent shortening or association with socioeconomic status. LTL was associated with disability and functional status assessed according to ADLs. The association between ADLs and LTL was stronger in subjects without diabetes mellitus, whereas associations were not seen when only subjects with diabetes mellitus were analyzed. Associations between LTL and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer were also present in the group without diabetes mellitus but not in the group with diabetes mellitus. CONCLUSION: These findings support the concept that LTL is a biomarker of overall well-being that is predictive of disability of older individuals in the U.S. population. Diabetes mellitus plays an important role as a modifier of the association between LTL and disability, CVD, and cancer. These associations have clinical implications because of the potential predictive value of LTL and deserve further investigation.





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Publication Info

Risques, Rosa Ana, Konstantin G Arbeev, Anatoli I Yashin, Svetlana V Ukraintseva, George M Martin, Peter S Rabinovitch and Junko Oshima (2010). Leukocyte telomere length is associated with disability in older u.s. Population. J Am Geriatr Soc, 58(7). pp. 1289–1298. 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.02948.x Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14880.

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Konstantin Arbeev

Associate Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

Konstantin G. Arbeev received the M.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from Moscow State University (branch in Ulyanovsk, Russia) in 1995 and the Ph.D. degree in Mathematics and Physics (specialization in Theoretical Foundations of Mathematical Modeling, Numerical Methods and Programming) from Ulyanovsk State University (Russia) in 1999. He was a post-doctoral fellow in Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (Germany) before moving to Duke University in 2004 to work as a Research Scientist and a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Sociology and the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI).  He is currently an Associate Research Professor in SSRI. Dr. Arbeev's major research interests are related to three interconnected fields of biodemography, biostatistics and genetic epidemiology as pertains to research on aging. The focus of his research is on discovering genetic and non-genetic factors that can affect the process of aging and determine longevity and healthy lifespan. He is interested in both methodological advances in this research area as well as their practical applications to analyses of large-scale longitudinal studies with phenotypic, genetic and, recently, genomic information. Dr. Arbeev authored and co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in these areas.


Anatoli I. Yashin

Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

Svetlana Ukraintseva

Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

Dr. Ukraintseva studies causes of human aging and related decline in resilience, to identify genetic and other factors responsible for the increase in mortality risk with age eventually limiting longevity. She explores complex relationships, including trade-offs, between physiological aging-changes and risks of major diseases (with emphasis on Alzheimer’s and cancer), as well as survival, to find new genetic and other targets for anti-aging interventions and disease prevention. She also investigates possibilities of repurposing of existing vaccines and treatments for AD prevention and interventions into the aging. For this, Dr. Ukraintseva and her team use data from several large human studies containing rich genetic and phenotypic information (including longitudinal measurements) on thousands of individuals. Dr. Ukraintseva is a PI and Key Investigator on several NIH funded grants, and has more than 130 peer-reviewed publications, including in major journals such as Nature Reviews, Stroke, European Journal of Human Genetics, and some other.

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