Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/22731
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Is telomere length socially patterned? Evidence from the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study
Authors: Robertson, Tony
Batty, G David
Der, Geoff
Green, Michael J
McGlynn, Liane M
McIntyre, Alan
Shiels, Paul G
Benzeval, Michaela
Contact Email: tony.robertson@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Cohort Studies
Educational Status
Female
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Scotland
Social Class
Telomere
Telomere Shortening
Telomere: genetics
Time Factors
Young Adult
Issue Date: 23-Jul-2012
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: Robertson T, Batty GD, Der G, Green MJ, McGlynn LM, McIntyre A, Shiels PG & Benzeval M (2012) Is telomere length socially patterned? Evidence from the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study, PLoS ONE, 7 (7), Art. No.: e41805.
Abstract: Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is strongly associated with an increased risk of morbidity and premature mortality, but it is not known if the same is true for telomere length, a marker often used to assess biological ageing. The West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study was used to investigate this and consists of three cohorts aged approximately 35 (N = 775), 55 (N = 866) and 75 years (N = 544) at the time of telomere length measurement. Four sets of measurements of SES were investigated: those collected contemporaneously with telomere length assessment, educational markers, SES in childhood and SES over the preceding twenty years. We found mixed evidence for an association between SES and telomere length. In 35-year-olds, many of the education and childhood SES measures were associated with telomere length, i.e. those in poorer circumstances had shorter telomeres, as was intergenerational social mobility, but not accumulated disadvantage. A crude estimate showed that, at the same chronological age, social renters, for example, were nine years (biologically) older than home owners. No consistent associations were apparent in those aged 55 or 75. There is evidence of an association between SES and telomere length, but only in younger adults and most strongly using education and childhood SES measures. These results may reflect that childhood is a sensitive period for telomere attrition. The cohort differences are possibly the result of survival bias suppressing the SES-telomere association; cohort effects with regard different experiences of SES; or telomere possibly being a less effective marker of biological ageing at older ages.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/22731
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0041805
Rights: © 2012 Robertson et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Affiliation: HS - Management and Support
University of Edinburgh
University of Birmingham
University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow

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