Short Leukocyte Telomere Length Is Associated With Obesity in American Indians: The Strong Heart Family Study

Aging (Albany NY). 2014 May;6(5):380-9. doi: 10.18632/aging.100664.

Abstract

Shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) has been associated with a wide range of age-related disorders including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. Obesity is an important risk factor for CVD and diabetes. The association of LTL with obesity is not well understood. This study for the first time examines the association of LTL with obesity indices including body mass index, waist circumference, percent body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio in 3,256 American Indians (14-93 years old, 60% women) participating in the Strong Heart Family Study. Association of LTL with each adiposity index was examined using multivariate generalized linear mixed model, adjusting for chronological age, sex, study center, education, lifestyle (smoking, alcohol consumption, and total energy intake), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, hypertension and diabetes. Results show that obese participants had significantly shorter LTL than non-obese individuals (age-adjusted P=0.0002). Multivariate analyses demonstrate that LTL was significantly and inversely associated with all of the studied obesity parameters. Our results may shed light on the potential role of biological aging in pathogenesis of obesity and its comorbidities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / genetics
  • Anthropometry
  • Female
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / genetics
  • Leukocytes / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Telomere / pathology*
  • Young Adult