The correlation of salivary telomere length and single nucleotide polymorphisms of the ADIPOQ, SIRT1 and FOXO3A genes with lifestyle-related diseases in a Japanese population

PLoS One. 2021 Jan 28;16(1):e0243745. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0243745. eCollection 2021.


Background: It has been reported that genetic factors are associated with risk factors and onset of lifestyle-related diseases, but this finding is still the subject of much debate.

Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation of genetic factors, including salivary telomere length and three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may influence lifestyle-related diseases, with lifestyle-related diseases themselves.

Methods: In one year at a single facility, relative telomere length and SNPs were determined by using monochrome multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction and TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assays, respectively, and were compared with lifestyle-related diseases in 120 Japanese individuals near our university.

Results: In men and all participants, age was inversely correlated with relative telomere length with respective p values of 0.049 and 0.034. In men, the frequency of hypertension was significantly higher in the short relative telomere length group than in the long group with unadjusted p value of 0.039, and the difference in the frequency of hypertension between the two groups was of borderline statistical significance after adjustment for age (p = 0.057). Furthermore, in men and all participants, the sum of the number of affected lifestyle-related diseases, including hypertension, was significantly higher in the short relative telomere length group than in the long group, with p values of 0.004 and 0.029, respectively. For ADIPOQ rs1501299, men's ankle brachial index was higher in the T/T genotype than in the G/G and G/T genotypes, with p values of 0.001 and 0.000, respectively. For SIRT1 rs7895833, men's body mass index and waist circumference and all participants' brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity were higher in the A/G genotype than in the G/G genotype, with respective p values of 0.048, 0.032 and 0.035. For FOXO3A rs2802292, women's body temperature and all participants' saturation of peripheral oxygen were lower in the G/T genotype than in the T/T genotype, with respective p values of 0.039 and 0.032. However, relative telomere length was not associated with physiological or anthropometric measurements except for height in men (p = 0.016). ADIPOQ rs1501299 in men, but not the other two SNPs, was significantly associated with the sum of the number of affected lifestyle-related diseases (p = 0.013), by genotype. For each SNPs, there was no significant difference in the frequency of hypertension or relative telomere length by genotype.

Conclusion: Relative telomere length and the three types of SNPs determined using saliva have been shown to be differentially associated with onset of and measured risk factors for lifestyle-related diseases consisting mainly of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Forkhead Box Protein O3 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / genetics*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Saliva
  • Sirtuin 1 / genetics*
  • Telomere / metabolism*


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • FOXO3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Box Protein O3
  • SIRT1 protein, human
  • Sirtuin 1

Grants and funding

This work was supported by 2015 Graduate Student Exchange (XH) and Grant-in-Aid for Encouragement of Scientists Research Funds (IM), Saitama Prefectural University. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.