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 Ptrend = 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 Ptrend = 0.02). Specifically, calisthenics or aerobics was associated with increased LTL (SD = 0.10 for ≥2.5 vs. 0 hours/week; 2-sided
Ptrend = 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.

Download full-text


Available from: Peter Kraft
  • Source
    • "Although telomere length is strongly influenced by genetic factors, telomere attrition might be modulated by environmental and lifestyle factors, including older age, cigarette smoking, gender, ethnicity[28], education[29]and other indicators of socioeconomic status[30]and diet[31]. Studies have suggested that telomere attrition is modifiable, as substantial variability exists in the rate of telomere shortening that is independent of chronological age323334. Therefore, variability of telomere length may be partially explained by lifestyle practices, including dietary patterns. Some reports have indicated a positive relationship of leukocyte telomere length and Mediterrranean diet adherence in two different human population subsets[35,36]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aging is a multifactorial and tissue-specific process involving diverse alterations regarded as the "hallmarks of aging", which include genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion and altered intracellular communication. Virtually all these hallmarks are targeted by dietary olive oil, particularly by virgin olive oil, since many of its beneficial effects can be accounted not only for the monounsaturated nature of its predominant fatty acid (oleic acid), but also for the bioactivity of its minor compounds, which can act on cells though both direct and indirect mechanisms due to their ability to modulate gene expression. Among the minor constituents of virgin olive oil, secoiridoids stand out for their capacity to modulate many pathways that are relevant for the aging process. Attenuation of aging-related alterations by olive oil or its minor compounds has been observed in cellular, animal and human models. How olive oil targets the hallmarks of aging could explain the improvement of health, reduced risk of aging-associated diseases, and increased longevity which have been associated with consumption of a typical Mediterranean diet containing this edible oil as the predominant fat source.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Molecules
  • Source
    • "Associations between LTL and age, LTL and race/ethnicity, and LTL and psychosocial factors , including education, perceived stress, and depression, were assessed using the two common telomere length metrics reported in multicenter settings (S1 Table), log-transformed telomere length(kb) and LTL Z-score. Inverse-weighted variance Z-scores were calculated by subtracting the log-transformed LTL sample mean from the original sample values and then dividing by the sample standard deviation[31,32]. Z-scores were also adjusted for age, gender, and cancer status by estimates within strata and then taking the weighted average across strata464748495051[52,53]. Population demographic variables, age, gender, and cancer status, relate to LTL in literature (4) (S1 Protocol/S1 Table). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Leukocyte telomere length(LTL) has been associated with age, self-reported race/ethnicity, gender, education, and psychosocial factors, including perceived stress, and depression. However, inconsistencies in associations of LTL with disease and other phenotypes exist across studies. Population characteristics, including race/ethnicity, laboratory methods, and statistical approaches in LTL have not been comprehensively studied and could explain inconsistent LTL associations. Methods: LTL was measured using Southern Blot in 1510 participants from a multi-ethnic, multi-center study combining data from 3 centers with different population characteristics and laboratory processing methods. Main associations between LTL and psychosocial factors and LTL and race/ethnicity were evaluated and then compared across generalized estimating equations(GEE) and linear regression models. Statistical models were adjusted for factors typically associated with LTL(age, gender, cancer status) and also accounted for factors related to center differences, including laboratory methods(i.e., DNA extraction). Associations between LTL and psychosocial factors were also evaluated within race/ethnicity subgroups (Non-hispanic Whites, African Americans, and Hispanics). Results: Beyond adjustment for age, gender, and cancer status, additional adjustments for DNA extraction and clustering by center were needed given their effects on LTL measurements. In adjusted GEE models, longer LTL was associated with African American race (Beta(β)(standard error(SE)) = 0.09(0.04), p-value = 0.04) and Hispanic ethnicity (β(SE) = 0.06(0.01), p-value = 0.02) compared to Non-Hispanic Whites. Longer LTL was also associated with less than a high school education compared to having greater than a high school education (β(SE) = 0.06(0.02), p-value = 0.04). LTL was inversely related to perceived stress (β(SE) = -0.02(0.003), p<0.001). In subgroup analyses, there was a negative association with LTL in African Americans with a high school education versus those with greater than a high school education(β(SE) = -0.11(0.03), p-value<0.001). Conclusions: Laboratory methods and population characteristics that differ by center can influence telomere length associations in multicenter settings, but these effects could be addressed through statistical adjustments. Proper evaluation of potential sources of bias can allow for combined multicenter analyses and may resolve some inconsistencies in reporting of LTL associations. Further, biologic effects on LTL may differ under certain psychosocial and racial/ethnic circumstances and could impact future health disparity studies.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · PLoS ONE
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Psychological Medicine
Show more