Aim: The study aimed to examine the association between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) attrition over 13 years (between mean age 30 and mean age 43) and lung function at mean age 50. Materials & methods: In a longitudinal observational study LTL was determined twice on a population-based sample of 481 Jewish residents of Jerusalem at mean ages 30 and 43 years. Pulmonary function was determined at mean age 50 years. Multiple linear regression and multivariable ordinal logistic modeling were applied. Akaike's Information Criteria (AIC) was used for model selection. Results: In unadjusted analysis, Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 s (FEV1%) was inversely associated with the LTL attrition rate (standardized beta = −0.110, P = 0.023) but not with the baseline LTL. Forced Vital Capacity (FVC%) was inversely associated with the LTL attrition rate (standardized beta = −0.108, P = 0.026). Multivariable adjustment mildly attenuated the association with the LTL attrition rate (standardized beta = −0.100, P = 0.034 for FEV1% and −0.093, P = 0.042 for FVC%). This would be consistent with a 3.3% [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 3.1–3.4%] decline in FEV1% and a 3.0% (95% CI:2.8–3.1%) decline in FVC% per year. In linear regression models the LTL-pulmonary function association did not differ by sex, social mobility, pack-years smoking exposure, or level of GlycA, a novel systemic inflammatory marker. Conclusions: Greater LTL attrition between mean age 30 and mean age 43 was associated with poorer lung function at mean age 50 years. The availability of longitudinal data on LTL attrition for the first time in the current study strengthens the case for LTL change preceding change in lung function.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Health [ 300000-5352 ], the Israel Science Foundation [ 593/01 ], and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation [ 87-00419 ] to JDK.
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