Leukocyte telomere length is independently associated with gait speed in elderly women
Jee-Yon Lee ; Hyo-Weon Bang ; Duk-Chul Lee ; Jung-Ha Kim ; Jae-Hong Ko
Maturitas, Vol.75(2) : 165~169, 2013
Declining gait speed is common in the elderly population and is associated with age-related conditions. Because telomere length is a reflection of aging and known to affect degenerative changes in organ systems, gait speed may be associated with telomere length. We therefore investigated the relationship between gait speed and leukocyte telomere length in elderly Korean women.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
A total of 117 Korean elderly women participated. Metabolic variables were assessed along with gait speed calculated as walking distance (6m) divided by time. Leukocyte telomere length was measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
Gait speed correlated with telomere length (r=0.38, p<0.01), fasting insulin (r=-0.19, p=0.04), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR; r=-0.22, p=0.02), triglyceride (r=-0.20, p=0.03), and Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE; r=0.20, p=0.03) after adjusting for age. On step-wise multiple regression analysis, telomere length (β=0.35, p<0.01), K-MMSE (β=0.16, p=0.02), age (β=-0.23, p=0.01), and HOMA-IR (β=-0.19, p=0.03) were identified as independent variables associated with gait speed.
This study suggested that telomere length may have a role in maintaining overall health status as well as preserving gait speed in the elderly population. Further studies are required to better understand the significance of our findings.