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Non-esterified fatty acids and telomere length in older adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

TitleNon-esterified fatty acids and telomere length in older adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsAhiawodzi, P, Fitzpatrick, AL, Djoussé, L, Ix, JH, Kizer, JR, Mukamal, KJ
JournalMetabol Open
Date Published2020 Dec
Abstract<p><b>Background: </b>Telomeres shorten as organisms age, placing limits on cell proliferation and serving as a marker of biological aging. Non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) are a key mediator of age-related metabolic abnormalities. We aimed to determine if NEFAs are associated with telomere length in community-living older adults.</p><p><b>Material and methods: </b>We cross-sectionally studied 1648 participants of the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) who underwent concomitant telomere length measurement from a sample of 4715 participants who underwent measurement of circulating total fasting NEFAs in stored specimens from their 1992-3 clinic visit. We used linear regression and inverse probability weighting to model telomere length as a function of NEFAs with adjustment for age, gender, race, clinic, BMI, marital status, smoking status, alcohol intake, diabetes status, years of education, hypertension status, prevalent cardiovascular disease, C-reactive protein, total adiponectin, albumin, fetuin-A, fasting insulin, eGFR, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and general health status.</p><p><b>Results: </b>Higher NEFAs were significantly associated with shorter telomere length, after adjusting for age, gender, race, and clinic site (β = -0.034; SE = 0.015;  = 0.02). Estimates remained similar in fully adjusted models where each SD of NEFA increment was associated with 0.042 kilobase (kb) pairs shorter telomere length (standard error = 0.016;  = 0.007); for comparison the coefficient for a single year of age in the same model was -0.017. These results were similar in strata of sex, and waist circumference although they tended to be strongest among participants in the youngest tertile of age (β = -0.079; SE = 0.029; P = 0.01).</p><p><b>Conclusions: </b>In this population-based cohort of community-living elders, we observed a significant inverse association between NEFAs and telomere length. If confirmed, NEFAs may represent a promising target for interventions to slow biological aging.</p>
Alternate JournalMetabol Open
PubMed ID32995737
PubMed Central IDPMC7502331
ePub date: