Abstract MP088: Consumption of Specific Foods, Leukocyte Telomere Length, and Leukocyte Telomere Attrition: the Cardiovascular Health Study
Introduction: Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a complex genetic trait that is linked to higher risks of CVD, diabetes and other age-related disease. Little is known about the relationship between the intake of specific foods and LTL. Hypothesis: Foods that generally increase cardiometabolic risk, such as processed meat, will be associated with shorter LTL and higher rate of LTL attrition; foods that decrease risk, such as seafood, will have inverse associations with LTL and LTL attrition.
Methods: We evaluated the relation between LTL and specific foods in 1,515 US adults age 65+ y participating in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Usual dietary habits were assessed by detailed food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) at baseline and year 6. Leukocyte DNA was extracted, and LTL measured via Southern blots of terminal restriction fragments, in blood samples collected at years 3 and 8. Clustered linear regression analysis was used to assess the multivariable-adjusted, cross-sectional relationship between specific foods and LTL (baseline FFQ vs. year 3 LTL and year 6 FFQ vs. year 8 LTL). Baseline diet was also evaluated in relation to the rate of LTL attrition over time.
Results: In multivariate analyses, higher red and processed meat intakes were each associated with shorter LTL (p-trend <0.01) (Table). Intakes of seafood and vegetables were associated with non-significant trends toward longer LTL In the subset with both baseline diet and change in LTL (n=617), a significant association between processed meats and greater 5-year LTL attrition was observed (p-trend=0.03). Higher nut intake was also associated with less LTL attrition across quintiles (p=0.05), although not monotonically (p-trend=0.35).
Conclusions: Diet, in particular red meat and processed meat consumption, may play a role in telomere dynamics. Our findings support the need for further investigation of prospective relations in larger samples.
|Mean LTL||LTL difference Q5 vs. Q1 (SE)||Wald p-value* Q5 vs. Q1||p-trend*|
|Whole grains||6.33||6.31||6.31||6.33||6.32||−0.04 (0.06)||0.39||0.63|
|Red meats||6.42||6.32||6.30||6.27||6.27||−0.14 (0.05)||<0.01||<0.01|
|Processed meats||6.43||6.34||6.30||6.28||6.23||−0.15 (0.05)||<0.01||<0.01|
↵* Adjusted for age, sex, race, education, smoking status, body mass index, and physical activity.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.