Socioeconomic status and telomere length: the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study

Batty, G.D., Wang, Y., Brouilette, S.W., Shiels, P.G. , Packard, C.J., Moore, J., Samani, N.J. and Ford, I. (2009) Socioeconomic status and telomere length: the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63(10), pp. 839-841. (doi:10.1136/jech.2009.088427)

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Abstract

<b>Background</b>: It has been hypothesised that socioeconomically deprived people age more rapidly than their more advantaged counterparts and this is biologically manifest in shorter telomeres. However, in the very few studies conducted, substantial uncertainty exists regarding this relationship. <b>Methods</b>: In the present investigation, 1542 men in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study responded to a series of enquiries about their socioeconomic position (educational attainment, employment status, area-based deprivation), had their physical stature measured (a proxy for early life social circumstances) and provided a blood specimen from which leucocyte DNA was extracted and telomere length derived. <b>Results</b>: There was no strong evidence that any of these four indices of socioeconomic position was robustly related to telomere length. The only exception was employment status: men who reported being out of work had significantly shorter telomeres than those who were employed (p = 0.007). <b>Conclusion</b>: In this cross-sectional study—the largest to date to examine the relationship—we found little evidence of an association between socioeconomic status and telomere length.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ford, Professor Ian and Shiels, Professor Paul and Batty, Dr G and Wang, Dr Ying-Ying and Packard, Professor Chris
Authors: Batty, G.D., Wang, Y., Brouilette, S.W., Shiels, P.G., Packard, C.J., Moore, J., Samani, N.J., and Ford, I.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Robertson Centre
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Journal Abbr.:J. Epidemiol. Com. Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0143-005X
ISSN (Online):1470-2738
Published Online:24 May 2009

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