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J Pediatr. 2011 Feb;158(2):215-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.08.007. Epub 2010 Sep 19.

Leukocyte telomere length in healthy Caucasian and African-American adolescents: relationships with race, sex, adiposity, adipokines, and physical activity.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Georgia Prevention Institute, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912-3715, USA. hzhu@mail.mcg.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the relationships of race, sex, adiposity, adipokines, and physical activity to telomere length in adolescents.

STUDY DESIGN:

Leukocyte telomere length (T/S ratio) was assessed cross-sectionally in 667 adolescents (aged 14-18 years; 48% African-Americans; 51% girls) using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction method. Generalized estimating equations analyses were performed.

RESULTS:

Telomere length was greater in the African-American adolescents than in the Caucasian adolescents (age- and sex-adjusted T/S ratio ± SE, 1.32 ± 0.01 vs 1.27 ± 0.01: P = .014) and greater in girls than in boys (age- and race-adjusted T/S ratio ± SE, 1.31 ± 0.01 vs 1.27 ± 0.01; P = .007). None of the adiposity or adipokine measures explained a significant proportion of the variance in telomere length. Vigorous physical activity was positively associated with telomere length (adjusted R(2) = 0.019; P = .009) and accounted for 1.9% of the total variance only in girls.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study, conducted in a biracial adolescent cohort, demonstrated that (1) race and sex differences in telomere length have already emerged during adolescence; (2) adiposity and adipokines are not associated with telomere length at this age; and (3) the antiaging effect of vigorous physical activity may begin in youth, especially in girls.

PMID:
20855079
PMCID:
PMC3010324
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.08.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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