Limits...
Determinants of telomere attrition over 1 year in healthy older women: stress and health behaviors matter.

Puterman E, Lin J, Krauss J, Blackburn EH, Epel ES - Mol. Psychiatry (2014)

Bottom Line: In 239 postmenopausal, non-smoking, disease-free women, accumulation of major life stressors across a 1-year period predicted telomere attrition over the same period-for every major life stressor that occurred during the year, there was a significantly greater decline in telomere length over the year of 35 bp (P<0.05).Yet, these effects were moderated by health behaviors (interaction B=0.19, P=0.04).This finding has implications for understanding malleability of telomere length, as well as expectations for possible intervention effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Telomere length, a reliable predictor of disease pathogenesis, can be affected by genetics, chronic stress and health behaviors. Cross-sectionally, highly stressed postmenopausal women have shorter telomeres, but only if they are inactive. However, no studies have prospectively examined telomere length change over a short period, and if rate of attrition is affected by naturalistic factors such as stress and engagement in healthy behaviors, including diet, exercise, and sleep. Here we followed healthy women over 1 year to test if major stressors that occurred over the year predicted telomere shortening, and whether engaging in healthy behaviors during this period mitigates this effect. In 239 postmenopausal, non-smoking, disease-free women, accumulation of major life stressors across a 1-year period predicted telomere attrition over the same period-for every major life stressor that occurred during the year, there was a significantly greater decline in telomere length over the year of 35 bp (P<0.05). Yet, these effects were moderated by health behaviors (interaction B=0.19, P=0.04). Women who maintained relatively higher levels of health behaviors (1 s.d. above the mean) appeared to be protected when exposed to stress. This finding has implications for understanding malleability of telomere length, as well as expectations for possible intervention effects. This is the first study to identify predictors of telomere length change over the short period of a year.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Predicted Telomere Length Change Over One Year as a Function of Major Life Stressors and Cumulative Health BehaviorsNote. Lines are predicted relationships between major life stressors and change in telomere length over the one year of study at three levels of cumulative health behaviors, low (−1 SD), moderate (mean), and high (+1 SD).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4310821&req=5

Figure 1: Predicted Telomere Length Change Over One Year as a Function of Major Life Stressors and Cumulative Health BehaviorsNote. Lines are predicted relationships between major life stressors and change in telomere length over the one year of study at three levels of cumulative health behaviors, low (−1 SD), moderate (mean), and high (+1 SD).

Mentions: Results testing an interaction between major stressors and cumulative health behaviors (i.e. sum score of all three health behaviors over the year) support the hypothesis that a constellation of health behaviors during the 12 months from baseline to follow-up significantly moderated the relationship between major life stressors and telomere shortening during the same time frame (interaction B = 0.19, p = .041). For women who engaged in lower levels of health behaviors (one standard deviation below the average sample mean of cumulative health behaviors), every additional stressor was related to accelerated telomere shortening over the year by an additional mean 76.5 base pairs (95%C.I. = −123.1, −30.0 base pairs, B = -.29, p = .001) compared to women with no adverse stressors. At average levels of health behaviors, accelerated telomere shortening over the year occurred by an additional 39.6 base pairs for every major life stressor that occurred, on average (95% C.I. = −76.4, −2.7 base pairs, B = -.15, p = .04). For those women at higher levels of healthy behaviors (one standard deviation above the average sample mean of health behaviors), adverse events were unrelated to telomere shortening (unstandardized b = −2.6, 95% C.I. = −58.0, 52.7 base pairs, B = −0.01, p > .50). Figure 1 illustrates the simple slopes for major life stressors on telomere shortening at mean cumulative health behaviors, and one standard deviation above and one below the mean.


Determinants of telomere attrition over 1 year in healthy older women: stress and health behaviors matter.

Puterman E, Lin J, Krauss J, Blackburn EH, Epel ES - Mol. Psychiatry (2014)

Predicted Telomere Length Change Over One Year as a Function of Major Life Stressors and Cumulative Health BehaviorsNote. Lines are predicted relationships between major life stressors and change in telomere length over the one year of study at three levels of cumulative health behaviors, low (−1 SD), moderate (mean), and high (+1 SD).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4310821&req=5

Figure 1: Predicted Telomere Length Change Over One Year as a Function of Major Life Stressors and Cumulative Health BehaviorsNote. Lines are predicted relationships between major life stressors and change in telomere length over the one year of study at three levels of cumulative health behaviors, low (−1 SD), moderate (mean), and high (+1 SD).
Mentions: Results testing an interaction between major stressors and cumulative health behaviors (i.e. sum score of all three health behaviors over the year) support the hypothesis that a constellation of health behaviors during the 12 months from baseline to follow-up significantly moderated the relationship between major life stressors and telomere shortening during the same time frame (interaction B = 0.19, p = .041). For women who engaged in lower levels of health behaviors (one standard deviation below the average sample mean of cumulative health behaviors), every additional stressor was related to accelerated telomere shortening over the year by an additional mean 76.5 base pairs (95%C.I. = −123.1, −30.0 base pairs, B = -.29, p = .001) compared to women with no adverse stressors. At average levels of health behaviors, accelerated telomere shortening over the year occurred by an additional 39.6 base pairs for every major life stressor that occurred, on average (95% C.I. = −76.4, −2.7 base pairs, B = -.15, p = .04). For those women at higher levels of healthy behaviors (one standard deviation above the average sample mean of health behaviors), adverse events were unrelated to telomere shortening (unstandardized b = −2.6, 95% C.I. = −58.0, 52.7 base pairs, B = −0.01, p > .50). Figure 1 illustrates the simple slopes for major life stressors on telomere shortening at mean cumulative health behaviors, and one standard deviation above and one below the mean.

Bottom Line: In 239 postmenopausal, non-smoking, disease-free women, accumulation of major life stressors across a 1-year period predicted telomere attrition over the same period-for every major life stressor that occurred during the year, there was a significantly greater decline in telomere length over the year of 35 bp (P<0.05).Yet, these effects were moderated by health behaviors (interaction B=0.19, P=0.04).This finding has implications for understanding malleability of telomere length, as well as expectations for possible intervention effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Telomere length, a reliable predictor of disease pathogenesis, can be affected by genetics, chronic stress and health behaviors. Cross-sectionally, highly stressed postmenopausal women have shorter telomeres, but only if they are inactive. However, no studies have prospectively examined telomere length change over a short period, and if rate of attrition is affected by naturalistic factors such as stress and engagement in healthy behaviors, including diet, exercise, and sleep. Here we followed healthy women over 1 year to test if major stressors that occurred over the year predicted telomere shortening, and whether engaging in healthy behaviors during this period mitigates this effect. In 239 postmenopausal, non-smoking, disease-free women, accumulation of major life stressors across a 1-year period predicted telomere attrition over the same period-for every major life stressor that occurred during the year, there was a significantly greater decline in telomere length over the year of 35 bp (P<0.05). Yet, these effects were moderated by health behaviors (interaction B=0.19, P=0.04). Women who maintained relatively higher levels of health behaviors (1 s.d. above the mean) appeared to be protected when exposed to stress. This finding has implications for understanding malleability of telomere length, as well as expectations for possible intervention effects. This is the first study to identify predictors of telomere length change over the short period of a year.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus