Menopause modifies the association of leukocyte telomere length with insulin resistance and inflammation

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Feb;91(2):635-40. doi: 10.1210/jc.2005-1814. Epub 2005 Nov 22.


Context: Leukocyte telomere length is inversely correlated with age, insulin resistance, serum leptin, and smoking.

Objective: We explored whether menopausal status modifies the relations between leukocyte telomere length and insulin resistance. In addition, we examined the effect of menopause on the relation between leukocyte telomere length and C-reactive protein (CRP), an index of inflammation.

Design: This was an observational cohort study.

Setting: The study setting was community based.

Participants: A total of 1517 women aged 18-79 yr selected only for belonging to a twin pair and representative of the general population participated in the study.

Main outcome measure: Leukocyte telomere restriction fragment length (TRFL) was measured.

Results: Insulin resistance (expressed in the homeostasis model assessment), leptin, and CRP were inversely correlated with leukocyte TRFL in premenopausal but not postmenopausal women. Insulin resistance, CRP, but not leptin independently accounted for variation in white blood cell TRFL in premenopausal women.

Conclusions: Menopausal status impacts leukocyte telomere length and its relation with insulin resistance and inflammation in women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Leukocytes / physiology*
  • Menopause / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Telomere / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • C-Reactive Protein