Abstract 9740: Healthy Lifestyle and Leukocyte Telomere Length In U.S. Women
Objectives: To examine whether healthy lifestyle practices, which are primary prevention measures against major age-related chronic diseases, are associated with longer telomere length.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: The Nurses' Health Study, United States.
Participants: The population of analysis consisted of 3,355 women who were free of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease at blood draw in 1990 and were selected as controls in multiple prospective case-control studies within the Nurses' Health Study cohort. Using self-administered questionnaires, these participants provided detailed information on lifestyle practices and dietary habits in 1988 or 1990.
Main outcome measures: Z scores of leukocyte telomere length were derived among controls in each case-control study. We defined low-risk categories for five major modifiable factors: non-current smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight (18.5 kg/m2 ≤ body mass index < 24.9 kg/m2), engaging in regular moderate or vigorous physical activities (≥150 minutes/week), drinking alcohol in moderation (1 drink/week to <2 drinks/day), and eating a healthy diet (Alternate Healthy Eating Index score in top 50%). We calculated difference (%) of the z scores contrasting low-risk groups with reference groups to evaluate the association of interest.
Results: Although none of the individual low-risk factors was significantly associated with longer leukocyte telomere length z scores, we observed a significant, monotonic relationship between the number of low-risk factors and the z scores. In comparison with women who had no low-risk factors, the leukocyte telomere length z scores were 15.4%, 21.8%, 23.3%, 24.5%, and 33.1% (P for trend = 0.04) higher for women who had 1 to 5 low-risk factors, respectively.
Conclusion: Adherence to a healthy lifestyle defined by major modifiable factors may attenuate age-related declines in telomere length.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.