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Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants Predicts Telomere Length in Older Age: Results from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

As the population ages, the occurrence of chronic pathologies becomes more common. Leukocyte telomere shortening associates to ageing and age-related diseases. Recent studies suggest that environmental chemicals can affect telomere length. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are most relevant, since they are ingested with foods, and accumulate in the body for a long time. This longitudinal study was undertaken to test if circulating POPs predict telomere length and shortening in elderly people. We studied 1082 subjects belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (born 1934-1944), undergoing two visits (2001-2004 and 2011-2014). POPs (oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor, p, p’-DDE, PCB 153, BDE 47, BDE 153) were analysed at baseline. Relative telomere length was measured twice, ’10 years apart, by quantitative real-time PCR. Oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and PCB-153 levels were significant predictors of telomere length and shortening. In men, we did not find a linear relationship between POPs exposure and telomere shortening. In women, a significant reduction across quartiles categories of oxychlordane and trans-nonachlor exposure was observed. Baseline characteristics of subjects in the highest POPs categories included higher levels of C-reactive protein and fasting glucose, and lower body fat percentage. This is one of few studies combining POPs and telomere length. Our results indicate that exposure to oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and PCB 153 predicts telomere attrition. This finding is important because concentrations of POPs observed here occur in contemporary younger people, and may contribute to an accelerated ageing.

No MeSH data available.


Study design, showing the size of the population and the times of screening (left) and the predictive and outcome variables (right boxes). We hypothesized that serum POPs levels would associate with telomere shortening, affecting telomere length in 10 years.
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F1-ad-7-5-540: Study design, showing the size of the population and the times of screening (left) and the predictive and outcome variables (right boxes). We hypothesized that serum POPs levels would associate with telomere shortening, affecting telomere length in 10 years.

Mentions: The original Helsinki Birth Cohort Study includes 8760 women and men born between 1934 and 1944 at the Helsinki University Hospital. Between 2001 and 2004, a randomly-selected subset of people from the cohort underwent a clinical visit (n=2003), during which blood samples were collected for the assessment of telomere length, circulating POPs and metabolic markers [23]. After approximately 10 years (2011-2013), a follow-up visit was carried out in 1082 subjects, and blood samples for DNA extraction and telomere length measurements were repeated (Fig. 1). Serum POPs levels were tested as predictors of telomere shortening during the observation period and of telomere length at 10 years (outcome measures). Age, sex, body fat percent and the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) were tested as potential explanatory factors.


Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants Predicts Telomere Length in Older Age: Results from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study
Study design, showing the size of the population and the times of screening (left) and the predictive and outcome variables (right boxes). We hypothesized that serum POPs levels would associate with telomere shortening, affecting telomere length in 10 years.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5036950&req=5

F1-ad-7-5-540: Study design, showing the size of the population and the times of screening (left) and the predictive and outcome variables (right boxes). We hypothesized that serum POPs levels would associate with telomere shortening, affecting telomere length in 10 years.
Mentions: The original Helsinki Birth Cohort Study includes 8760 women and men born between 1934 and 1944 at the Helsinki University Hospital. Between 2001 and 2004, a randomly-selected subset of people from the cohort underwent a clinical visit (n=2003), during which blood samples were collected for the assessment of telomere length, circulating POPs and metabolic markers [23]. After approximately 10 years (2011-2013), a follow-up visit was carried out in 1082 subjects, and blood samples for DNA extraction and telomere length measurements were repeated (Fig. 1). Serum POPs levels were tested as predictors of telomere shortening during the observation period and of telomere length at 10 years (outcome measures). Age, sex, body fat percent and the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) were tested as potential explanatory factors.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

As the population ages, the occurrence of chronic pathologies becomes more common. Leukocyte telomere shortening associates to ageing and age-related diseases. Recent studies suggest that environmental chemicals can affect telomere length. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are most relevant, since they are ingested with foods, and accumulate in the body for a long time. This longitudinal study was undertaken to test if circulating POPs predict telomere length and shortening in elderly people. We studied 1082 subjects belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (born 1934-1944), undergoing two visits (2001-2004 and 2011-2014). POPs (oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor, p, p’-DDE, PCB 153, BDE 47, BDE 153) were analysed at baseline. Relative telomere length was measured twice, ’10 years apart, by quantitative real-time PCR. Oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and PCB-153 levels were significant predictors of telomere length and shortening. In men, we did not find a linear relationship between POPs exposure and telomere shortening. In women, a significant reduction across quartiles categories of oxychlordane and trans-nonachlor exposure was observed. Baseline characteristics of subjects in the highest POPs categories included higher levels of C-reactive protein and fasting glucose, and lower body fat percentage. This is one of few studies combining POPs and telomere length. Our results indicate that exposure to oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and PCB 153 predicts telomere attrition. This finding is important because concentrations of POPs observed here occur in contemporary younger people, and may contribute to an accelerated ageing.

No MeSH data available.