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J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Sep;24(9):1531-6. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.090318.

Leukocyte Telomere Length Is Not Associated With BMD, Osteoporosis, or Fracture in Older Adults: Results From the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study.

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Medical Scientist Training Program, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Short leukocyte telomere length (TL), low BMD, and osteoporosis have been associated with increased inflammation. Previous reports suggest an association between TL, BMD, and osteoporosis in women. We sought to verify these associations and to determine whether TL is related to fracture in a cohort of older men and women. Participants included 2750 community-dwelling older persons from the longitudinal Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study (Health ABC) in who average leukocyte TL was measured at baseline using qPCR. We used unconditional logistic regression to determine the association of TL with prevalent fracture, Cox proportional hazards regression for the association with 7-yr incident fracture, and mixed linear models for the association with BMD, change in BMD, and the number of incident fractures. TL was negatively correlated with age, weight, fasting insulin, and fasting glucose in men and women, and additionally, with C-reactive protein and IL-6 in men. TL was not associated with BMD; change in BMD over 1, 3, or 5 yr; osteoporosis; baseline fracture; or 7-yr incident fracture, before or after adjustment for age, race, smoking, and health characteristics. TL is not associated with BMD, osteoporosis, or fracture in older men or women in this sample.

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