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Obesity, Hypertension, and Telomere Length Loss

Metab Syndr Relat Disord; ePub 2018 May 11; Wojcicki, et al

In populations with chronic and long-standing obesity, telomere length attrition rate, rather than baseline telomere length, may be a more sensitive indicator of health status including chronic disease development, according to a recent study. In an urban Latina population recruited in San Francisco (n=82) with a high prevalence of overweight and obesity (78.4%), researchers assessed leukocyte telomere length and telomere length change over a 1-year period in relation to obesity, chronicity of obesity, and incident metabolic disease risk 5–6 years later. They found:

  • There were no significant associations between baseline telomere length and socio-demographics including age and ethnicity, or current weight status.
  • Telomere length change, however, was associated with being obese at baseline and previous years of chronic obesity.
  • A high percentage of women who were obese at baseline were also obese the year before (90%) and 2 years before (85%).
  • Obesity at baseline was an independent predictor for increased telomere length attrition.
  • Similarly, chronic obesity was associated with increased risk for accelerated attrition.
  • Subjects who had or developed hypertension also had accelerated attrition.

Citation:

Wojcicki JM, Elwan D, Lin J, Blackburn E, Epel E. Chronic obesity and incident hypertension in Latina women are associated with accelerated telomere length loss over a 1-year period. [Published online ahead of print May 11, 2018]. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. doi:10.1089/met.2017.0134.

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