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Aging Cell. 2007 Feb;6(1):125-8. Epub 2006 Dec 5.

No association between socio-economic status and white blood cell telomere length.

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  • 1Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, 21 Claremont Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AA, UK.


It has been hypothesized that more socio-economically deprived individuals age faster and, thus, have shorter telomeres than their more affluent counterparts. A weak association between white blood cell telomere length and socio-economic status in a large heterogeneous sample of females has recently been reported. In 318 individuals from a homogeneous birth cohort, we found no evidence of an association between any measure of socio-economic status and peripheral blood mononucleocyte telomere length at age 50 after control for lifestyle variables, gender and paternal age at birth. The results of this, and the previous study, suggest that there is little evidence of a strong or consistent correlation between white blood cell telomere length and markers of socio-economic status.

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