Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Leukocyte Telomere Length in Women

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
American journal of epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.23). 03/2012; 175(5):414-22. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwr330
Source: PubMed


Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a potential indicator of cellular aging; however, its relation to physical activity and sedentary behavior is unclear. The authors examined cross-sectionally associations among activity, sedentary behavior, and LTL among 7,813 women aged 43-70 years in the Nurses' Health Study. Participants self-reported activity by questionnaire in 1988 and 1992 and sedentary behavior in 1992. Telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes, collected in 1989-1990, was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The least-squares mean telomere length (z-score) was calculated after adjustment for age and other potential confounders. For total activity, moderately or highly active women had a 0.07-standard deviation (SD) increase in LTL (2-sided P(trend) = 0.02) compared with those least active. Greater moderate- or vigorous-intensity activity was also associated with increased LTL (SD = 0.11 for 2-4 vs. <1 hour/week and 0.04 for ≥7 vs. <1 hour/week; 2-sided P(trend) = 0.02). Specifically, calisthenics or aerobics was associated with increased LTL (SD = 0.10 for ≥2.5 vs. 0 hours/week; 2-sided P(trend) = 0.04). Associations remained after adjustment for body mass index. Other specific activities and sitting were unassociated with LTL. Although associations were modest, these findings suggest that even moderate amounts of activity may be associated with longer telomeres, warranting further investigation in large prospective studies.

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    • "Finally, we hypothesize that the cumulative exposure to stressful life events over life is associated with shorter telomeres cross-sectionally. The statistical models were adjusted for the following covariates because of their known association with life events or TL: gender (Barrett & Richardson, 2011), age (Chen et al. 2011), body mass index (BMI) (Valdes et al. 2005), the presence of chronic diseases, smoking (Valdes et al. 2005), frequency of sports (Du et al. 2012), and level of education (Steptoe et al. 2011). It has previously been reported in the cohort of the current study that the presence of a generalized anxiety disorder, but not depression, is associated with TL (Hoen et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Telomere attrition might be one of the mechanisms through which psychosocial stress leads to somatic disease. To date it is unknown if exposure to adverse life events in adulthood is associated with telomere shortening prospectively. In the current study we investigated whether life events are associated with shortening of telomere length (TL). Participants were 1094 adults (mean age 53.1, range 33-79 years) from the PREVEND cohort. Data were collected at baseline (T1) and at two follow-up visits after 4 years (T2) and 6 years (T3). Life events were assessed with an adjusted version of the List of Threatening Events (LTE). TL was measured by monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR at T1, T2, and T3. A linear mixed model was used to assess the effect of recent life events on TL prospectively. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to assess whether the lifetime life events score or the score of life events experienced before the age of 12 predicted TL cross-sectionally. All final models were adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, presence of chronic diseases, frequency of sports, smoking status, and level of education. Recent life events significantly predicted telomere attrition prospectively (B = -0.031, p = 0.007). We were not able to demonstrate a significant cross-sectional relationship between the lifetime LTE score and TL. Nor did we find exposure to adverse life events before the age of 12 to be associated with TL in adulthood. Exposure to recent adverse life events in adulthood is associated with telomere attrition prospectively.
    Psychological Medicine 07/2015; -1:1-10. DOI:10.1017/S0033291715000914 · 5.94 Impact Factor
    • "In most studies evaluating the association between physical exercise and telomere length the mode of exercise has been endurance or aerobic-type training giving a positive (Cherkas et al., 2008; Du et al., 2012; LaRocca et al., 2010), none (Mathur et al., 2013; Woo et al., 2008) or inverted U-shaped association (Collins et al., 2003; Savela et al., 2013). Little is known about the association between resistance training and telomere length. "
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    ABSTRACT: A career as an elite-class male athlete seems to improve metabolic heath in later life and is also associated with longer life expectancy. Telomere length is a biomarker of biological cellular ageing and could thus predict morbidity and mortality. The main aim of this study was to assess the association between vigorous elite-class physical activity during young adulthood on later life leukocyte telomere length (LTL). The study participants consist of former male Finnish elite athletes (n = 392) and their age-matched controls (n = 207). Relative telomere length was determined from peripheral blood leukocytes by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Volume of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) was self-reported and expressed in metabolic equivalent hours. No significant difference in mean age-adjusted LTL in late life (p = 0.845) was observed when comparing former male elite athletes and their age-matched controls. Current volume of LTPA had no marked influence on mean age-adjusted LTL (p for trend 0.788). LTL was inversely associated with age (p = 0.004).Our study findings suggest that a former elite athlete career is not associated with LTL later in life. Key pointsA career as an elite-class athlete is associated with improved metabolic health in late life and is associated with longer life expectancy.A career as an elite-class athlete during young adulthood was not associated with leukocyte telomere length in later life.Current volume of leisure-time physical activity did not influence telomere length in later life.
    Journal of sports science & medicine 06/2015; 14(2):239-45. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    • "The analysis of telomere length in twin volunteers revealed the more physically active twin had longer telomeres than the less active twin [8]. Furthermore, exercise intensity is beneficial for telomere dynamics in women, as telomere length was positively associated with engaging in more frequent vigorous physical activity [23] and vigorous physical activity ameliorated telomere attrition caused by psychological stress [24]. Telomere length was also positively correlated with maximal oxygen uptake in older (55–72years) participants and it was suggested that telomere erosion was attenuated in middle-aged participants who exercise regularly [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Telomere length is recognized as a marker of biological age, and shorter mean leukocyte telomere length is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is unclear whether repeated exposure to ultra-endurance aerobic exercise is beneficial or detrimental in the long-term and whether it attenuates biological aging. We quantified 67 ultra-marathon runners' and 56 apparently healthy males' leukocyte telomere length (T/S ratio) using real-time quantitative PCR. The ultra-marathon runners had 11% longer telomeres (T/S ratio) than controls (ultra-marathon runners: T/S ratio = 3.5±0.68, controls: T/S ratio = 3.1±0.41; β = 0.40, SE = 0.10, P = 1.4×10(-4)) in age-adjusted analysis. The difference remained statistically significant after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors (P = 2.2×10(-4)). The magnitude of this association translates into 16.2±0.26 years difference in biological age and approximately 324-648bp difference in leukocyte telomere length between ultra-marathon runners and healthy controls. Neither traditional cardiovascular risk factors nor markers of inflammation/adhesion molecules explained the difference in leukocyte telomere length between ultra-marathon runners and controls. Taken together these data suggest that regular engagement in ultra-endurance aerobic exercise attenuates cellular aging.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e69377. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0069377 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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