Abstract P286: Macronutrient Intake and Dietary Patterns’ Association with Telomere Length in American Indians: The Strong Heart Study
Introduction: Telomeres are repeated DNA sequences and their associated proteins at the ends chromosomes. A slow and gradual loss of telomere length with increasing age in humans has been reported. Substantial variability observed in the rate of telomere shortening independent of age has been attributed to environmental and lifestyle factors.
Hypothesis: This study examines the association between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and dietary intake among American Indians (AIs). We hypothesized that diets deemed “unhealthy”, with high content of sugar, saturated and trans fats, and alcohol would be associated with shorter LTL.
Methods: The current analysis included 2,842 American Indians (AIs) participating in the Strong Heart Family Study (SHFS). LTL was measured by quantitative PCR. Nutrition data were collected via food frequency questionnaire. Four diet patterns were extracted using principal component analysis (Western, Traditional, Healthy and Unhealthy diet patterns). The relationship between LTL and diet was analyzed, separately, by using diet patterns measured in quintiles or by using macronutrient intake in diet including alcohol consumption. The analyses were conducted using multivariate linear mixed models, adjusting for family relatedness, age, diabetes, gender, BMI, physical activity and smoking.
Results: The mean age was 40 (SD=17), 60% were female. In models examining diet patterns, the traditional diet pattern, which includes traditional foods, dry beans, Mexican foods, stew, (processed) meats, and hydrogenated vegetable fats, was significantly and negatively associated with LTL. Participants who scored higher on the traditional diet had shorter LTL (shorter by 0.005 per one quintile of traditional diet, p<0.01). We observed no significant association between LTL and other three diet patterns. There was no association of macronutrients (i.e., protein, fat components, carbohydrates, simple and added sugars, dietary cholesterol or fiber) with LTL. However, alcohol intake was significantly and negatively related to LTL in the macronutrients model (shorter by 0.03 per 10-percentage point increase, p<0.05).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that, in addition to known factors such as older age, higher BMI and diabetes, traditional diet pattern may reflect a lifestyle associated with accelerated aging of AIs. Alcohol intake seems to be related to the shortening of LTL with an effect size comparable to that of diabetes.
Author Disclosures: M. Mete: None. S. Eilat-Adar: None. A. Zeymo: None. J. Zhao: None. A. Fretts: None. N. Shara: None. B. Howard: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.