The association between telomere length, physical health, cognitive ageing, and mortality in non-demented older people

Harris, S.E., Deary, I.J., Maclntyre, A., Lamb, K.J., Radhakrishnan, K., Starr, J.M., Whalley, L.J. and Shiels, P.G. (2006) The association between telomere length, physical health, cognitive ageing, and mortality in non-demented older people. Neuroscience Letters, 406(3), pp. 260-264. (doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2006.07.055)

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Abstract

Telomeres are nucleo-protein complexes that protect the ends of chromosomes. The telomeric DNA component shortens each time a somatic cell replicates, eventually leading to cell senescence. Telomere length has been associated with morbidity and mortality rates from age-related diseases. We tested the hypotheses that mean peripheral blood leukocyte telomere length, at age 79 years, is associated with physical health at age 79, cognitive ability at age 79, lifetime cognitive change, smoking, alcohol consumption, social class in adulthood, and mortality in a cohort of people without dementia (the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921: LBC1921). There was a small, significant association between telomere length and verbal fluency (a test of executive function) before (r = −0.16, p = 0.027) and after (r = −0.17, p = 0.022) adjustment for mental ability at age 11. This might be a type 1 error. Otherwise, we find that telomere length in old age does not have a significant association with age-related physical and cognitive decline or mortality.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shiels, Professor Paul
Authors: Harris, S.E., Deary, I.J., Maclntyre, A., Lamb, K.J., Radhakrishnan, K., Starr, J.M., Whalley, L.J., and Shiels, P.G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Neuroscience Letters
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-3940
ISSN (Online):1872-7972
Published Online:21 August 2006

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