Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Several age-related traits are associated with shorter telomeres, the structures that cap the end of linear chromosomes. A common polymorphism near the telomere maintenance gene TERT has been associated with several cancers, but relationships with other aging traits such as physical capability have not been reported. As part of the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) collaborative research programme, men and women aged between 44 and 90 years from nine UK cohorts were genotyped for the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs401681. We then investigated relationships between the SNP and 30 age-related phenotypes, including cognitive and physical capability, blood lipid levels and lung function, pooling within-study genotypic effects in meta-analyses. No significant associations were found between the SNP and any of the cognitive performance tests (e.g. pooled beta per T allele for word recall z-score = 0.02, 95% CI: -0.01 to 0.04, P-value = 0.12, n = 18,737), physical performance tests (e.g. pooled beta for grip strength = -0.02, 95% CI: -0.045 to 0.006, P-value = 0.14, n = 11,711), blood pressure, lung function or blood test measures. Similarly, no differences in observations were found when considering follow-up measures of cognitive or physical performance after adjusting for its measure at an earlier assessment. The lack of associations between SNP rs401681 and a wide range of age-related phenotypes investigated in this large multicohort study suggests that while this SNP may be associated with cancer, it is not an important contributor to other markers of aging.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1474-9726.2011.00687.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Aging cell

Publication Date

06/2011

Volume

10

Pages

520 - 532

Addresses

School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, UK. tamuno.alfred@bristol.ac.uk

Keywords

HALCyon Study Team, Telomere, Humans, Telomerase, Lipids, Membrane Proteins, Neoplasm Proteins, Anthropometry, Longitudinal Studies, DNA Fingerprinting, Cognition, Aging, Blood Pressure, Physical Endurance, Gene Frequency, Genotype, Phenotype, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Healthy People Programs, Great Britain, Female, Male