Does Telomere Length Indicate Biological, Physical and Cognitive Health Among Older Adults? Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study.

TitleDoes Telomere Length Indicate Biological, Physical and Cognitive Health Among Older Adults? Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBrown, L, Zhang, Y, Mitchell, CM, Ailshire, JA
JournalJournals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume73
Issue7
Pagination905-905
Date Published07/2019
ISSN Number1758-535X
KeywordsBiomarkers, Cognitive Ability, Health Conditions and Status, Telomeres
Abstract

Telomere length (TL) has been suggested as a biomarker that can indicate individual variability in the rate of aging. Yet, it remains unclear whether TL is related to recognized indicators of health in an aging, older nationally representative sample. We examine whether TL is associated with 15 biological, physical and cognitive markers of health among older adults ages 54+. TL was assayed from saliva using quantitative PCR (T/S ratio) in the 2008 Health and Retirement Study (n=4,074). We estimated probability of high risk levels across indictors of health by TL and age-singly and jointly. TL was associated with seven indicators of poor functioning: HDL and total cholesterol, cystatin C, pulse pressure, BMI, lung function, and walking speed. However, after adjusting for age, associations were substantially attenuated; only associations with cholesterol and lung function remained significant. Additionally, findings show TL did not add to the predictive power of chronological age in predicting poor functioning. While TL may not be a useful clinical marker of functional aging in an older adult population, it may still play an important role in longitudinal studies in young and middle aged populations that attempt to understand aging.

DOI10.1093/gerona/gly001
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29346517?dopt=Abstract

Alternate JournalJ. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci.
Citation Key9474
PubMed ID29346517