Telomeres and all-cause mortality

Telomere length not related to all-cause mortality

Longer telomeres at baseline did not predict all-cause and cause-specific mortality after 7 years of follow-up in the elderly men cohort from Zutphen. The cross-sectional mean telomere length decreased from 5.03 kbp in the 1993 survey to 4.76 kbp in 2000. Telomere shortening is a marker of aging that might be related to oxidative stress.

Repeated measures of telomere length

Telomere length was measured in leucocytes by polymerase chain reaction in men who participated in the Zutphen Elderly Study. Within the cohort, telomere length measured in 1993 and 2000 was strongly correlated. Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures at the end of chromosomes. They prevent chromosomal ends from being recognized as double strand breaks and thus apparently protect them from end to end fusion and degradation.

About the Zutphen Elderly Study

The Zutphen Elderly Study is an extension of the original Zutphen Study with a sample of the same age where detailed information on the diet of all the participants was collected four times between 1985 and 2000.  Read more about the Zutphen (Elderly) Study.

More about healthy aging

From 1984 onwards, additional studies started to examine indicators of healthy ageing in the elderly populations of in the SCS and related studies.


Physical activity and disability

The results suggest that even in old age among relatively healthy men, a physically active lifestyle was inversely related to disability.