Tracking and fixed ranking of leukocyte telomere length across the adult life course
Article first published online: 27 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Aging Cell published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and the Anatomical Society.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Volume 12, Issue 4, pages 615–621, August 2013
How to Cite
Benetos, A., Kark, J. D., Susser, E., Kimura, M., Sinnreich, R., Chen, W., Steenstrup, T., Christensen, K., Herbig, U., von Bornemann Hjelmborg, J., Srinivasan, S. R., Berenson, G. S., Labat, C. and Aviv, A. (2013), Tracking and fixed ranking of leukocyte telomere length across the adult life course. Aging Cell, 12: 615–621. doi: 10.1111/acel.12086
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 27 MAY 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 18 APR 2013 09:59AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 APR 2013
- NIH. Grant Numbers: AG16592, AG030678
- US-Israel Binational Science Foundation
- Israel Science Foundation
- Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale. Grant Number: FRM DCV- 20070409250
- Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie
- Agence Nationale de la Recherche. Grant Number: ANR 09-GENO-010-01
- Plan Pluri-Formation
- The National Program for Research Infrastructure
- VELUX foundation
- Southern blots;
Short leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with atherosclerosis in adults and diminished survival in the elderly. LTL dynamics are defined by LTL at birth, which is highly variable, and its age-dependent attrition thereafter, which is rapid during the first 20 years of life. We examined whether age-dependent LTL attrition during adulthood can substantially affect individuals' LTL ranking (e.g., longer or shorter LTL) in relation to their peers. We measured LTL in samples donated 12 years apart on average by 1156 participants in four longitudinal studies. We observed correlations of 0.91–0.96 between baseline and follow-up LTLs. Ranking individuals by deciles revealed that 94.1% (95% confidence interval of 92.6–95.4%) showed no rank change or a 1 decile change over time. We conclude that in adults, LTL is virtually anchored to a given rank with the passage of time. Accordingly, the links of LTL with atherosclerosis and longevity appear to be established early in life. It is unlikely that lifestyle and its modification during adulthood exert a major impact on LTL ranking.