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European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 181–187

First Online: 21 February 2013Received: 27 September 2012Accepted: 06 February 2013DOI: 10.1007-s10654-013-9780-4

Cite this article as: Steenstrup, T., Hjelmborg, J

B., Mortensen, L.H. et al. Eur J Epidemiol 2013 28: 181. doi:10.1007-s10654-013-9780-4


Limited data suggest that leukocytes of the elderly display ultra-short telomeres. It was reported that in some elderly persons leukocyte telomere length LTL shows age-dependent elongation. Using cross-sectional and longitudinal models, we characterized LTL dynamics in participants of the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins. We measured LTL by Southern blots of the terminal restriction fragment length TRFL in 476 individuals 73–94 years in a cross-sectional evaluation and in a subset of this cohort comprising 80 individuals 73–81 years at baseline who were followed–up for approximately 10 years. Based on the mean TRFL, we found that a the average rate of LTL attrition was respectively, 27 bp-year P < 0.001 and 31 bp-year P < 0.001 for the cross-sectional and longitudinal evaluations, and b mean TRFL was 180 bp 95 % CI 43, 320 longer in females than males P < 0.010. For the TRFL distribution, which captures telomeres of all lengths in the DNA sample, we observed significant shifts with age toward shorter telomeres. Based on the measurement error of the TRFLs, we computed that in the longitudinal evaluation 10.6 % of individuals would manifest LTL elongation over 10 years, assuming a 340 bp attrition during this period. This was not significantly different from the empirical observation of 7.5 % of individuals showing LTL elongation. We conclude that accumulation of ultra-short telomeres in leukocytes of the elderly reflects a shift toward shorter telomeres in the entire telomere distribution. Measurement error is the probable explanation for LTL elongation in longitudinal studies.

KeywordsTelomeres Aging Sex Longitudinal Cross-sectional Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1007-s10654-013-9780-4 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Troels Steenstrup - Jacob v. B. Hjelmborg - Laust H. Mortensen - Masayuki Kimura - Kaare Christensen - Abraham Aviv

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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