Evaluation of leukocyte telomere length based on socioeconomic status in adults

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Physiology, Medical Faculty, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Gametes and Cloning, Research Institute of Animal Embryo Technology, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

4 Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

5 Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

6 Immunoregulation Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objective: Understanding the social, economic, and physical determinants of telomere size is important to assess the risk of early biological aging. In this study, we investigated the association between socioeconomic parameters (marital status, income level, smoking status, and body mass index) and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in Iranian adults. This cross-sectional study was part of a prospective cohort project in West Azerbaijan province, Iran.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and three adult participants (28-74 years) were included in this study. Personal and health data of each volunteer were obtained through the interview surveys, self-reports and clinical examinations. The LTL of each individual was relatively measured by real-time PCR. The association of relative LTL with socioeconomic status was evaluated after adjusting for age.
Results: The LTL was inversely correlated with the individual’s age (R=-0.226, P<0.001). The age-adjusted LTL of participants was also positively associated with income level (R=-0.301, P<0.001) while it was not significantly correlated with overall marital, smoking, and body mass index (BMI) statuses. The age-adjusted LTL was increased in higher income levels compared to lower levels (P<0.001). There were no significant differences in the age-adjusted LTL between various variables of marital, smoking, and BMI statuses.
Conclusion: In the studied population, the income played a critical role in the telomere size and subsequent biological aging while smoking, marital, and BMI statuses did not have considerable influence on the telomere maintenance.


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