Social support and telomere length: a meta-analysis.

TitleSocial support and telomere length: a meta-analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsMontoya, M, Uchino, BN
JournalJ Behav Med
ISSN Number1573-3521

Previous studies have shown that lower social support is associated with higher all-cause mortality (Holt-Lunstad et al. in PLoS ONE Medicine 7:e1000316, 2010). While social support has been associated with system-specific biological measures (e.g., cardiovascular), there is the need to elucidate more general biological mechanisms linking social support to health risk across a number of diseases. In this meta-analytic review, the link between social support and telomere length (Cawthon et al. in Lancet 361:393-395, 2003) was conducted based on the updated PRISMA guidelines (Page et al., 2021). Across 17 studies, higher social support was not significantly related to longer telomere length (Zr = 0.010, 95% CI [- 0.028, 0.047], p > 0.05). The confidence interval indicated that the bulk of plausible values were small to null associations. Little evidence for bias was found as shown by funnel plots and Kendall's Tau. Moderator analyses focusing on the measure of support, health of sample, age, type of assay specimen, and gender were not significant. In conclusion, this review showed no significant relationship between social support and telomere length and highlights important future directions.

Citation Key13074
PubMed ID36617609
Grant ListR01HL137606 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States