Telomere Length and Physical Performance at Older Ages

An Individual Participant Meta-Analysis

Michael P. Gardner, Carmen Martin-Ruiz, Rachel Cooper, Rebecca Hardy, Avan Aihie Sayer, Cyrus Cooper, Ian J. Deary, John Gallacher, Sarah E. Harris, Paul G. Shiels, John M. Starr, Diana Kuh, Thomas von Zglinicki, Yoav Ben-Shlomo*, Tamuno Alfred, Paula Aucott, Leone Craig, Ian Day, Panos Demakakos, Jane Elliott & 15 others Catherine Gale, James Goodwin, Alison Lennox, Richard Martin, Geraldine McNeill, Gita Mishra, Zeinab Mulla, Emily Murray, Sam Parsons, Chris Power, Marcus Richards, Humphrey Southall, Andrew Steptoe, Kate Tilling, Lawrence Whalley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background:Telomeres are involved in cellular ageing and shorten with increasing age. If telomere length is a valuable biomarker of ageing, then telomere shortening should be associated with worse physical performance, an ageing trait, but evidence for such an association is lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine whether change in telomere length is associated with physical performance.Methods:Using data from four UK adult cohorts (ages 53-80 years at baseline), we undertook cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. We analysed each study separately and then used meta-analytic methods to pool the results. Physical performance was measured using walking and chair rise speed, standing balance time and grip strength. Telomere length was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in whole blood at baseline and follow-up (time 1, time 2).Results:Total sample sizes in meta-analyses ranged from 1,217 to 3,707. There was little evidence that telomere length was associated with walking speed, balance or grip strength, though weak associations were seen with chair rise speed and grip strength at baseline (p = 0.02 and 0.01 respectively). Faster chair rise speed at follow-up, was associated with a smaller decline in telomere length between time 1 and time 2 (standardised coefficient per SD increase 0.061, 95% CI 0.006, 0.115, p = 0.03) but this was consistent with chance (p = 0.08) after further adjustment.Conclusions:Whereas shortening of leukocyte telomeres might be an important measure of cellular ageing, there is little evidence that it is a strong biomarker for physical performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere69526
JournalPloS ONE
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2013

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telomeres
Telomere
meta-analysis
Meta-Analysis
Aging of materials
Hand Strength
Biomarkers
Telomere Shortening
Cell Aging
Polymerase chain reaction
shortenings
walking
biomarkers
Blood
Association reactions
Sample Size
Walking
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Leukocytes
Cross-Sectional Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Gardner, M. P., Martin-Ruiz, C., Cooper, R., Hardy, R., Sayer, A. A., Cooper, C., ... Whalley, L. (2013). Telomere Length and Physical Performance at Older Ages: An Individual Participant Meta-Analysis. PloS ONE, 8(7), [e69526]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069526

Telomere Length and Physical Performance at Older Ages : An Individual Participant Meta-Analysis. / Gardner, Michael P.; Martin-Ruiz, Carmen; Cooper, Rachel; Hardy, Rebecca; Sayer, Avan Aihie; Cooper, Cyrus; Deary, Ian J.; Gallacher, John; Harris, Sarah E.; Shiels, Paul G.; Starr, John M.; Kuh, Diana; von Zglinicki, Thomas; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav; Alfred, Tamuno; Aucott, Paula; Craig, Leone; Day, Ian; Demakakos, Panos; Elliott, Jane; Gale, Catherine; Goodwin, James; Lennox, Alison; Martin, Richard; McNeill, Geraldine; Mishra, Gita; Mulla, Zeinab; Murray, Emily; Parsons, Sam; Power, Chris; Richards, Marcus; Southall, Humphrey; Steptoe, Andrew; Tilling, Kate; Whalley, Lawrence.

In: PloS ONE, Vol. 8, No. 7, e69526, 26.07.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gardner, MP, Martin-Ruiz, C, Cooper, R, Hardy, R, Sayer, AA, Cooper, C, Deary, IJ, Gallacher, J, Harris, SE, Shiels, PG, Starr, JM, Kuh, D, von Zglinicki, T, Ben-Shlomo, Y, Alfred, T, Aucott, P, Craig, L, Day, I, Demakakos, P, Elliott, J, Gale, C, Goodwin, J, Lennox, A, Martin, R, McNeill, G, Mishra, G, Mulla, Z, Murray, E, Parsons, S, Power, C, Richards, M, Southall, H, Steptoe, A, Tilling, K & Whalley, L 2013, 'Telomere Length and Physical Performance at Older Ages: An Individual Participant Meta-Analysis', PloS ONE, vol. 8, no. 7, e69526. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069526
Gardner MP, Martin-Ruiz C, Cooper R, Hardy R, Sayer AA, Cooper C et al. Telomere Length and Physical Performance at Older Ages: An Individual Participant Meta-Analysis. PloS ONE. 2013 Jul 26;8(7). e69526. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069526
Gardner, Michael P. ; Martin-Ruiz, Carmen ; Cooper, Rachel ; Hardy, Rebecca ; Sayer, Avan Aihie ; Cooper, Cyrus ; Deary, Ian J. ; Gallacher, John ; Harris, Sarah E. ; Shiels, Paul G. ; Starr, John M. ; Kuh, Diana ; von Zglinicki, Thomas ; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav ; Alfred, Tamuno ; Aucott, Paula ; Craig, Leone ; Day, Ian ; Demakakos, Panos ; Elliott, Jane ; Gale, Catherine ; Goodwin, James ; Lennox, Alison ; Martin, Richard ; McNeill, Geraldine ; Mishra, Gita ; Mulla, Zeinab ; Murray, Emily ; Parsons, Sam ; Power, Chris ; Richards, Marcus ; Southall, Humphrey ; Steptoe, Andrew ; Tilling, Kate ; Whalley, Lawrence. / Telomere Length and Physical Performance at Older Ages : An Individual Participant Meta-Analysis. In: PloS ONE. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 7.
@article{c26a8048d4ba42399190ecb0bb44de0e,
title = "Telomere Length and Physical Performance at Older Ages: An Individual Participant Meta-Analysis",
abstract = "Background:Telomeres are involved in cellular ageing and shorten with increasing age. If telomere length is a valuable biomarker of ageing, then telomere shortening should be associated with worse physical performance, an ageing trait, but evidence for such an association is lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine whether change in telomere length is associated with physical performance.Methods:Using data from four UK adult cohorts (ages 53-80 years at baseline), we undertook cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. We analysed each study separately and then used meta-analytic methods to pool the results. Physical performance was measured using walking and chair rise speed, standing balance time and grip strength. Telomere length was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in whole blood at baseline and follow-up (time 1, time 2).Results:Total sample sizes in meta-analyses ranged from 1,217 to 3,707. There was little evidence that telomere length was associated with walking speed, balance or grip strength, though weak associations were seen with chair rise speed and grip strength at baseline (p = 0.02 and 0.01 respectively). Faster chair rise speed at follow-up, was associated with a smaller decline in telomere length between time 1 and time 2 (standardised coefficient per SD increase 0.061, 95{\%} CI 0.006, 0.115, p = 0.03) but this was consistent with chance (p = 0.08) after further adjustment.Conclusions:Whereas shortening of leukocyte telomeres might be an important measure of cellular ageing, there is little evidence that it is a strong biomarker for physical performance.",
author = "Gardner, {Michael P.} and Carmen Martin-Ruiz and Rachel Cooper and Rebecca Hardy and Sayer, {Avan Aihie} and Cyrus Cooper and Deary, {Ian J.} and John Gallacher and Harris, {Sarah E.} and Shiels, {Paul G.} and Starr, {John M.} and Diana Kuh and {von Zglinicki}, Thomas and Yoav Ben-Shlomo and Tamuno Alfred and Paula Aucott and Leone Craig and Ian Day and Panos Demakakos and Jane Elliott and Catherine Gale and James Goodwin and Alison Lennox and Richard Martin and Geraldine McNeill and Gita Mishra and Zeinab Mulla and Emily Murray and Sam Parsons and Chris Power and Marcus Richards and Humphrey Southall and Andrew Steptoe and Kate Tilling and Lawrence Whalley",
note = "HALCyon is funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing (RES-353-25-0001) and MG and RC were receiving support from this grant. The Caerphilly Prospective Study was undertaken by the former MRC Epidemiology Unit (South Wales) and the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol acts as the data custodian. The Hertfordshire Ageing Study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council. The Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 wave 1 phenotypic data collection and DNA preparation was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (project grant 15/SAG09977). The Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 wave 3 phenotypic data collection was funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates (project grant CZB/4/505). The LBC1921 work was undertaken by the University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, part of the cross council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Initiative (Centre grant G0700704/84698). Funding from the BBSRC, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC) is gratefully acknowledged. The NSHD is funded by the UK Medical Research Council and supports DK, RH and RC. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Telomere Length and Physical Performance at Older Ages

T2 - An Individual Participant Meta-Analysis

AU - Gardner, Michael P.

AU - Martin-Ruiz, Carmen

AU - Cooper, Rachel

AU - Hardy, Rebecca

AU - Sayer, Avan Aihie

AU - Cooper, Cyrus

AU - Deary, Ian J.

AU - Gallacher, John

AU - Harris, Sarah E.

AU - Shiels, Paul G.

AU - Starr, John M.

AU - Kuh, Diana

AU - von Zglinicki, Thomas

AU - Ben-Shlomo, Yoav

AU - Alfred, Tamuno

AU - Aucott, Paula

AU - Craig, Leone

AU - Day, Ian

AU - Demakakos, Panos

AU - Elliott, Jane

AU - Gale, Catherine

AU - Goodwin, James

AU - Lennox, Alison

AU - Martin, Richard

AU - McNeill, Geraldine

AU - Mishra, Gita

AU - Mulla, Zeinab

AU - Murray, Emily

AU - Parsons, Sam

AU - Power, Chris

AU - Richards, Marcus

AU - Southall, Humphrey

AU - Steptoe, Andrew

AU - Tilling, Kate

AU - Whalley, Lawrence

N1 - HALCyon is funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing (RES-353-25-0001) and MG and RC were receiving support from this grant. The Caerphilly Prospective Study was undertaken by the former MRC Epidemiology Unit (South Wales) and the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol acts as the data custodian. The Hertfordshire Ageing Study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council. The Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 wave 1 phenotypic data collection and DNA preparation was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (project grant 15/SAG09977). The Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 wave 3 phenotypic data collection was funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates (project grant CZB/4/505). The LBC1921 work was undertaken by the University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, part of the cross council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Initiative (Centre grant G0700704/84698). Funding from the BBSRC, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC) is gratefully acknowledged. The NSHD is funded by the UK Medical Research Council and supports DK, RH and RC. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

PY - 2013/7/26

Y1 - 2013/7/26

N2 - Background:Telomeres are involved in cellular ageing and shorten with increasing age. If telomere length is a valuable biomarker of ageing, then telomere shortening should be associated with worse physical performance, an ageing trait, but evidence for such an association is lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine whether change in telomere length is associated with physical performance.Methods:Using data from four UK adult cohorts (ages 53-80 years at baseline), we undertook cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. We analysed each study separately and then used meta-analytic methods to pool the results. Physical performance was measured using walking and chair rise speed, standing balance time and grip strength. Telomere length was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in whole blood at baseline and follow-up (time 1, time 2).Results:Total sample sizes in meta-analyses ranged from 1,217 to 3,707. There was little evidence that telomere length was associated with walking speed, balance or grip strength, though weak associations were seen with chair rise speed and grip strength at baseline (p = 0.02 and 0.01 respectively). Faster chair rise speed at follow-up, was associated with a smaller decline in telomere length between time 1 and time 2 (standardised coefficient per SD increase 0.061, 95% CI 0.006, 0.115, p = 0.03) but this was consistent with chance (p = 0.08) after further adjustment.Conclusions:Whereas shortening of leukocyte telomeres might be an important measure of cellular ageing, there is little evidence that it is a strong biomarker for physical performance.

AB - Background:Telomeres are involved in cellular ageing and shorten with increasing age. If telomere length is a valuable biomarker of ageing, then telomere shortening should be associated with worse physical performance, an ageing trait, but evidence for such an association is lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine whether change in telomere length is associated with physical performance.Methods:Using data from four UK adult cohorts (ages 53-80 years at baseline), we undertook cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. We analysed each study separately and then used meta-analytic methods to pool the results. Physical performance was measured using walking and chair rise speed, standing balance time and grip strength. Telomere length was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in whole blood at baseline and follow-up (time 1, time 2).Results:Total sample sizes in meta-analyses ranged from 1,217 to 3,707. There was little evidence that telomere length was associated with walking speed, balance or grip strength, though weak associations were seen with chair rise speed and grip strength at baseline (p = 0.02 and 0.01 respectively). Faster chair rise speed at follow-up, was associated with a smaller decline in telomere length between time 1 and time 2 (standardised coefficient per SD increase 0.061, 95% CI 0.006, 0.115, p = 0.03) but this was consistent with chance (p = 0.08) after further adjustment.Conclusions:Whereas shortening of leukocyte telomeres might be an important measure of cellular ageing, there is little evidence that it is a strong biomarker for physical performance.

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DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0069526

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SN - 1932-6203

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