Telomere shortening is a biological aging hallmark. The effect of short telomere length may be targeted by increased physical activity to reduce the risk of multiple aging-related diseases, including coronary heart disease (CHD). The objective was to assess the moderation effect of accelerometer-based physical activity (aPA) on the association between shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) relatively in the population sample and incident CHD. Data were from the UK Biobank participants with well-calibrated accelerometer data for at least 6.5 days (n = 54,180). Relative mean LTL at baseline (5–6 years prior to aPA assessment) was measured in T/S ratio, using a multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology, by comparing the amount of the telomere amplification product (T) to that of a single-copy gene (S). aPA measures included total number of events (at least 10-s continued physical activity > 32 milligravities [mg]), total volume, mean duration, mean intensity, and peak intensity of all events. LTL, aPA measures, and their interactions were associated with incident CHD (mean follow-up 6.8 years) using Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for covariates. Longer LTL (relative to the sample distribution) was associated with reduced incidence of CHD (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.94 per standard deviation [SD] increase in LTL, [95% CI, 0.90 to 0.99], P = .010). Incidence of CHD was reduced by higher total volume of aPA (aHR = 0.82 per SD increase in LTL, [95% CI, 0.71 to 0.95], P = .010) but increased by higher total number of events (aHR = 1.11 per SD increase in LTL, [95% CI, 1.02 to 1.21], P = .020) after controlling for other aPA measures and covariates. However, none of the interactions between LTL and aPA measures was statistically significant (P = .171).
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