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 ageing 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.