Telomere Length Among Older U.S. Adults: Differences by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age.

TitleTelomere Length Among Older U.S. Adults: Differences by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBrown, L, Needham, B, Ailshire, JA
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume29
Issue8
Pagination1350-1366
ISSN Number1552-6887
KeywordsGender Differences, Genetics, Older Adults, Racial/ethnic differences
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We examine race/ethnic, gender, and age differences in telomere length (TL) within a diverse, nationally representative sample of older adults.

METHOD: Data come from 5,228 White, Black, and Hispanic respondents aged 54+ in the 2008 Health and Retirement Study. TL was assayed from saliva using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) by comparing telomere sequence copy number with a single gene copy number (T/S ratio). Linear regression was used to examine TL by race/ethnicity, gender, and age adjusting for social, economic, and health characteristics.

RESULTS: Women had longer TL than men (p < .05). Blacks (p < .05) and Hispanics (p < .10) had longer TL than Whites. Black women and men had the longest TL relative to other groups (p < .05), while White men had the shortest TL (p < .05). Black women and Hispanic men showed greater differences in TL with age.

DISCUSSION: Findings indicate social patterns in TL by race/ethnicity, gender, and age among older adults do not reflect differences observed in most population health outcomes.

URLhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27469599
DOI10.1177/0898264316661390
Alternate JournalJ Aging Health
Citation Key8566
PubMed ID27469599