Telomere shortening and frailty in Mexican older adults

Mauricio Ortiz-Ramírez, Sergio Sánchez-García, Paola García-Dela Torre, Elba Reyes-Maldonado, Rosalinda Sánchez-Arenas, Haydeé Rosas-Vargas

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© 2018 Japan Geriatrics Society Aim: Telomere shortening has been associated with several age-related diseases, in addition to being considered a hallmark of aging. Frailty is a clinical syndrome characterized by an accentuated physiological and functional decline that might be a predictor of an adverse condition in older age. The present study evaluated the relationship between frailty and telomere shortening in older adults from Mexico City, Mexico. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Data were collected from 323 frail older adults, including physical and environmental factors, such as body mass index, comorbidities, physical activity and tobacco consumption. Telomere length was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction. The frailty syndrome was diagnosed using the Fried criteria. Results: An association between frailty and telomere shortening was found in both sexes. Telomere length decreased from 6.05 kb (5.54–6.48 kb) to 4.20 kb (3.80–4.54 kb; P < 0.001). It was also observed that tobacco consumption could be a significant modifying factor in the association between these two variables. Previous reports are contradictory, suggesting that there is no relationship between telomere length and frailty; however, it is possible that there are genetic and/or environmental variables to be elucidated, that might influence this association, particularly in the studied population. Conclusions: Telomere length is inversely related to frailty in Mexican frail older adults, and tobacco consumption is the main environmental modifying factor. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; 18: 1286–1292.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1286-1292
Number of pages1156
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018


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Ortiz-Ramírez, M., Sánchez-García, S., García-Dela Torre, P., Reyes-Maldonado, E., Sánchez-Arenas, R., & Rosas-Vargas, H. (2018). Telomere shortening and frailty in Mexican older adults. Geriatrics and Gerontology International, 1286-1292.