A1 Journal article (refereed)
Telomere length and physical performance among older people : the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (2019)

Åström, M. J., von Bonsdorff, M. B., Perälä, M.-M., Salonen, M. K., Rantanen, T., Kajantie, E., Simonen, M., Pohjolainen, P., Haapanen, M. J., Guzzardi, M. A., Iozzo, P., Kautiainen, H., & Eriksson, J. G. (2019). Telomere length and physical performance among older people : the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 183, Article 111145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2019.111145

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Åström, Max J.; von Bonsdorff, Mikaela B.; Perälä, Mia-Maria; Salonen, Minna K.; Rantanen, Taina; Kajantie, Eero; Simonen, Mika; Pohjolainen, Pertti; Haapanen, Markus J.; Guzzardi, Maria A.; et al.

Journal or series: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development

ISSN: 0047-6374

eISSN: 1872-6216

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 183

Article number: 111145

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2019.111145

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/65583


Telomere length has been suggested a biomarker of aging and is associated with several chronic diseases. However, the association between telomere length and physical performance is not well known. Using both cross-sectional and longitudinal data, we studied 582 women and 453 men from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study at two time-points; a baseline examination in 2001-2004 at a mean age of 61 years and a follow-up examination approximately 10 years later in 2011-2013. Telomere length was measured both at baseline and at follow-up using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Physical performance was evaluated only at follow-up using the Senior Fitness Test (SFT), which assesses strength, flexibility and endurance. In women, shorter telomere length at follow-up (p = 0.044) and greater telomere attrition during follow-up time (p = 0.022) were associated with poorer physical performance after adjusting for covariates (age at baseline, smoking status, body mass index at baseline, follow-up time and educational attainment). No similar associations were found for men. This indicates that, at least in women, telomere length could potentially be used as a biomarker for physical performance, however, more longitudinal studies are needed to confirm this association.

Keywords: ageing; physical fitness; physical functioning; biomarkers; telomeres

Free keywords: aging; biomarkers; epidemiology; physical function

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-14-06 at 13:13