Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Cancer. 2018 Jun 1;142(11):2234-2243. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31251. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

Leukocyte telomere length in relation to risk of lung adenocarcinoma incidence: Findings from the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

Author information

Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
University of Minnesota Genomics Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Genome Health and Personalised Nutrition Laboratory, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Health and Biosecurity, Adelaide, South Australia.
National Registry of Diseases Office, Health Promotion Board, Singapore, Singapore.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Graduate School of Public Health, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
Graduate School of Public Health, Center for Aging and Population Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.


Telomeres are crucial in the maintenance of chromosome integrity and genomic stability. Critically short telomeres can trigger programed cell death while cells with longer telomeres may have increased likelihood of replicative errors, resulting in genetic mutations and chromosomal alterations, and ultimately promoting oncogenesis. Data on telomere length and lung cancer risk from large prospective cohort studies are spare. Relative telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes was quantified using a validated monochrome multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method in 26,540 participants of the Singapore Chinese Health Study. After a follow-up of 12 years, 654 participants developed lung cancer including 288 adenocarcinoma, 113 squamous cell carcinoma and 253 other/unknown histological type. The Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). HR of lung adenocarcinoma for individuals in the highest comparing the lowest 20 percentile of telomere length was 2.84 (95% CI 1.94-4.14, ptrend  < 0.0001). This positive association was present in never smokers (ptrend  < 0.0001), ever smokers (ptrend  = 0.0010), men (ptrend  = 0.0003), women (ptrend  < 0.0001), and in shorter (ptrend  = 0.0002) and longer (ptrend  = 0.0001) duration of follow-up. There was no association between telomere length and risk of squamous cell carcinoma or other histological type of lung cancer in all or subgroups of individuals. The agreement of results from this prospective cohort study with those of previous prospective studies and Mendelian randomization studies suggest a possible etiological role of telomere length in the development of lung adenocarcinoma.

[Available on 2019-06-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center