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Exp Gerontol. 2014 Oct;58:250-5. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2014.08.009. Epub 2014 Aug 21.

Frailty and telomere length: cross-sectional analysis in 3537 older adults from the ESTHER cohort.

Author information

1
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: k.saum@dkfz.de.
2
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: a.dieffenbach@dkfz.de.
3
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Network Aging Research (NAR), University of Heidelberg, Bergheimer Straße 20, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: a.mueezzinler@dkfz.de.
4
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: h.mueller@dkfz.de.
5
Epidemiological Cancer Registry of Saarland, Präsident-Baltz-Straße 5, 66119 Saarbrücken, Germany. Electronic address: b.holleczek@gbe-ekr.saarland.de.
6
Epidemiological Cancer Registry of Saarland, Präsident-Baltz-Straße 5, 66119 Saarbrücken, Germany. Electronic address: c.stegmaier@gbe-ekr.saarland.de.
7
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: k.butterbach@dkfz.de.
8
Genomics and Proteomics Core Facility, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.
9
Genomic Epidemiology Group, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: f.canzian@dkfz.de.
10
Division of Genetics of Skin Carcinogenesis, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: h.stammer@dkfz.de.
11
Division of Genetics of Skin Carcinogenesis, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: p.boukamp@dkfz.de.
12
Department of Geriatric Research, Bethanien-Hospital and Geriatric Centre, University of Heidelberg, Rohrbacher Str. 149, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: khauer@bethanien-heidelberg.de.
13
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Network Aging Research (NAR), University of Heidelberg, Bergheimer Straße 20, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: h.brenner@dkfz.de.

Abstract

Both telomere length and frailty were observed to be associated with aging. Whether and to what extent telomere length is related to frailty is essentially unknown. In this cross-sectional analysis of baseline data of 3537 community-dwelling adults aged 50 to 75 years of a large German cohort study, we assessed the hypothesis that shorter telomere length might be a biological marker for frailty. Using whole blood DNA we examined mean telomere repeat copy to single gene copy number (T/S ratio) using quantitative PCR. Construction of a frailty index (FI) was based on a deficit accumulation approach, which quantifies frailty as ratio of the deficits present divided by the total number of deficits considered. Mean FI was determined according to age by tertiles of T/S ratio. Furthermore, we used correlation analyses stratified for gender and age groups to examine the association of the T/S ratio with frailty. Mean FI value was similar across tertiles of the T/S ratio (0.24±0.14, 0.24±0.14 and 0.23±0.14, respectively (p=0.09)), and FI and the T/S ratio were uncorrelated in gender- and age-specific analyses. In conclusion, T/S ratio and frailty were unrelated in this large sample of older adults. T/S ratio may therefore not be a meaningful biological marker for frailty.

KEYWORDS:

Elderly; Frailty; Frailty index; Telomere length; Telomeres

PMID:
25150678
DOI:
10.1016/j.exger.2014.08.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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