The association of cataract with leukocyte telomere length in older adults: defining a new marker of aging.
Lens transparency, or the magnitude of cataract severity, is a potential in vivo marker of aging distinguishable from diagnosed cataract. To explore lens transparency as a marker of aging, we determined its association with leukocyte telomere length (LTL) measured with quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Cataract severity was directly measured in 259 participants, and prevalent cataract and incident cataract surgery were ascertained in 2,750 participants of the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. LTL was unassociated with clinical cataract outcomes. Six of 259 had successfully aged lenses and a mean LTL of 5,700 bp, whereas 253/259 with poorly aged lenses had a mean LTL of 4,770 bp. Participants with a 1,000 bp greater mean LTL had nearly half the odds of any cataract (odds ratio = 0.47, 95% confidence interval 0.22-1.02) after adjustment. Lens transparency might be associated with longer LTL in community-dwelling older adults and should be investigated further as a possible biomarker of aging.
Sanders, JL; Iannaccone, A; Boudreau, RM; Conley, YP; Opresko, PL; Hsueh, W-C; Cummings, SR; Cawthon, RM; Harris, TB; Nalls, MA; Kritchevsky, SB; Newman, AB; Health ABC Study,
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