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Aging Cell. 2009 Jun;8(3):251-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2009.00470.x. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Race/ethnicity and telomere length in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. adiezrou@umich.edu

Abstract

Telomere length has emerged as a marker of exposure to oxidative stress and aging. Race/ethnic differences in telomere length have been infrequently investigated. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) was assessed 981 white, black and Hispanic men and women aged 45-84 years participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Direct measurement and questionnaire were used to assess covariates. Linear regression was used to estimate associations of LTL with race/ethnicity and age after adjustment for sex, income, education, smoking, physical activity, diet and body mass index. On average blacks and Hispanics had shorter telomeres than whites [adjusted mean differences (standard error) in T/S ratio compared to whites: -0.041 (0.018) for blacks and -0.044 (0.018) for Hispanics]. Blacks and Hispanics showed greater differences in telomere length associated with age than whites (adjusted mean differences in T/S ratio per 1 year increase in age -0.0018, -0.0047 and -0.0055 in whites, blacks and Hispanics respectively). Differences in age associations were more pronounced and only statistically significant in women. Race/ethnic differences in LTL may reflect the cumulative burden of differential exposure to oxidative stress (and its predictors) over the lifecourse.

PMID:
19302371
PMCID:
PMC2713110
DOI:
10.1111/j.1474-9726.2009.00470.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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