The association between physical activity in leisure time and leukocyte telomere length

L F Cherkas, J L Hunkin, B S Kato, J B Richards, J P Gardner, G L Surdulescu, M Kimura, X Lu, T D Spector, A Aviv

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458 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Physical inactivity is an important risk factor for many aging-related diseases. Leukocyte telomere dynamics (telomere length and age-dependent attrition rate) are ostensibly a biological indicator of human aging. We therefore tested the hypothesis that physical activity level in leisure time (over the past 12 months) is associated with leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in normal healthy volunteers. Methods: We studied 2401 white twin volunteers, comprising 2152 women and 249 men, with questionnaires on physical activity level, smoking status, and socioeconomic status. Leukocyte telomere length was derived from the mean terminal restriction fragment length and adjusted for age and other potential confounders. Results: Leukocyte telomere length was positively associated with increasing physical activity level in leisure time (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154 - 158
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2008

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