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Telomere length and physical performance at older ages: an individual participant meta-analysis

Telomere length and physical performance at older ages: an individual participant meta-analysis
Telomere length and physical performance at older ages: an individual participant meta-analysis
BACKGROUND: Telomeres are involved in cellular ageing and shorten with increasing age. If telomere length is a valuable biomarker of ageing, then telomere shortening should be associated with worse physical performance, an ageing trait, but evidence for such an association is lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine whether change in telomere length is associated with physical performance.

METHODS: Using data from four UK adult cohorts (ages 53-80 years at baseline), we undertook cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. We analysed each study separately and then used meta-analytic methods to pool the results. Physical performance was measured using walking and chair rise speed, standing balance time and grip strength. Telomere length was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in whole blood at baseline and follow-up (time 1, time 2).

RESULTS: Total sample sizes in meta-analyses ranged from 1,217 to 3,707. There was little evidence that telomere length was associated with walking speed, balance or grip strength, though weak associations were seen with chair rise speed and grip strength at baseline (p = 0.02 and 0.01 respectively). Faster chair rise speed at follow-up, was associated with a smaller decline in telomere length between time 1 and time 2 (standardised coefficient per SD increase 0.061, 95% CI 0.006, 0.115, p = 0.03) but this was consistent with chance (p =0.08) after further adjustment.

CONCLUSIONS: Whereas shortening of leukocyte telomeres might be an important measure of cellular ageing, there is little evidence that it is a strong biomarker for physical performance.
1932-6203
Gardner, Michael P.
e79a31d6-79f3-4b81-8a4a-badb4358bc91
Martin-Ruiz, Carmen
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Cooper, Rachel
24a4a55a-ccc1-4961-9b76-b89aa4eb2fdf
Hardy, Rebecca
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Sayer, Avan Aihie
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Gallacher, John
a92ca535-75e3-488a-9890-255212b0328d
Harris, Sarah E.
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Shiels, Paul G.
d08bdc90-2c36-4227-b244-5514bbf9d38e
Starr, John M.
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Kuh, Diana
4f3b51aa-21a0-4d68-be14-e1ed75448aaf
von Zglinicki, Thomas
87182e17-0a7f-498f-af8c-45c8f9282d3c
Ben-Shlomo, Yoav
df80bd02-a908-4296-b293-825d42203729
Gardner, Michael P.
e79a31d6-79f3-4b81-8a4a-badb4358bc91
Martin-Ruiz, Carmen
bc3ad877-467e-468b-8812-d4dc359fd96b
Cooper, Rachel
24a4a55a-ccc1-4961-9b76-b89aa4eb2fdf
Hardy, Rebecca
99fecbaf-fc92-4354-aa02-cb904dd2bd32
Sayer, Avan Aihie
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Gallacher, John
a92ca535-75e3-488a-9890-255212b0328d
Harris, Sarah E.
925adc32-c478-44a2-84c0-1c7eefa8dfc8
Shiels, Paul G.
d08bdc90-2c36-4227-b244-5514bbf9d38e
Starr, John M.
92fc6cf8-b0f7-47dc-93d8-8fd246d40585
Kuh, Diana
4f3b51aa-21a0-4d68-be14-e1ed75448aaf
von Zglinicki, Thomas
87182e17-0a7f-498f-af8c-45c8f9282d3c
Ben-Shlomo, Yoav
df80bd02-a908-4296-b293-825d42203729

Gardner, Michael P., Martin-Ruiz, Carmen, Cooper, Rachel, Hardy, Rebecca, Sayer, Avan Aihie, Cooper, Cyrus, Deary, Ian J., Gallacher, John, Harris, Sarah E., Shiels, Paul G., Starr, John M., Kuh, Diana, von Zglinicki, Thomas and Ben-Shlomo, Yoav (2013) Telomere length and physical performance at older ages: an individual participant meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 8 (7), part e69526. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069526). (PMID:16112303)

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Telomeres are involved in cellular ageing and shorten with increasing age. If telomere length is a valuable biomarker of ageing, then telomere shortening should be associated with worse physical performance, an ageing trait, but evidence for such an association is lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine whether change in telomere length is associated with physical performance.

METHODS: Using data from four UK adult cohorts (ages 53-80 years at baseline), we undertook cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. We analysed each study separately and then used meta-analytic methods to pool the results. Physical performance was measured using walking and chair rise speed, standing balance time and grip strength. Telomere length was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in whole blood at baseline and follow-up (time 1, time 2).

RESULTS: Total sample sizes in meta-analyses ranged from 1,217 to 3,707. There was little evidence that telomere length was associated with walking speed, balance or grip strength, though weak associations were seen with chair rise speed and grip strength at baseline (p = 0.02 and 0.01 respectively). Faster chair rise speed at follow-up, was associated with a smaller decline in telomere length between time 1 and time 2 (standardised coefficient per SD increase 0.061, 95% CI 0.006, 0.115, p = 0.03) but this was consistent with chance (p =0.08) after further adjustment.

CONCLUSIONS: Whereas shortening of leukocyte telomeres might be an important measure of cellular ageing, there is little evidence that it is a strong biomarker for physical performance.

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Published date: 26 July 2013
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 357469
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/357469
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 53a00db5-269a-4643-a4ce-f9628893921d
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709

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Date deposited: 04 Oct 2013 13:59
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:56

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Contributors

Author: Michael P. Gardner
Author: Carmen Martin-Ruiz
Author: Rachel Cooper
Author: Rebecca Hardy
Author: Avan Aihie Sayer
Author: Cyrus Cooper ORCID iD
Author: Ian J. Deary
Author: John Gallacher
Author: Sarah E. Harris
Author: Paul G. Shiels
Author: John M. Starr
Author: Diana Kuh
Author: Thomas von Zglinicki
Author: Yoav Ben-Shlomo

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