Telomere Length and the Sister Study

Some more evidence that shortened telomere length correlates with conditions and risk factors that are known to be bad for your long term health: "One of the studies published this week found that women who were obese for a long time had reduced telomere length. The researchers looked at the relationship between various measures of current and past body size and telomere length in 647 women enrolled in the Sister Study. They found that women who had an overweight or obese body mass index (BMI) before or during their 30s, and maintained that status since those years, had shorter telomeres than those who became overweight or obese after their 30s. ... This suggests that duration of obesity may be more important than weight change per se, although other measures of overweight and obesity were also important. Our results support the hypothesis that obesity accelerates the aging process. ... women who reported above-average stress had somewhat shorter telomeres, but the difference in telomere length was most striking when we looked at the relationship between perceived stress and telomere length among women with the highest levels of stress hormones. Among women with both higher perceived stress and elevated levels of the stress hormone epinephrine, the difference in telomere length was equivalent to or greater than the effects of being obese, smoking or 10 years of aging."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/nioe-fss031609.php

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