Abstract

Although telomere length (TL) is highly variable, a shorter TL indicate increased biological age. This multicenter study was conducted to identify the overall correlation between age and TL in Koreans and investigate the associations between age and TL in healthy individuals and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). TL was measured in peripheral leukocyte DNA. MCI and AD were diagnosed based on clinical examinations and amyloid deposition on positron emission tomography. This study enrolled 437 individuals. Multivariable linear analysis showed an overall approximate TL decrease of 37 bp per 1-year increase in age in all individuals (B=-0.037; P=0.002). There was no significant difference in the mean TL between healthy individuals and individuals with AD. Multivariable linear regression analysis showed that the mean rate of telomere shortening was 60 bp per year in individuals with AD (B=-0.060; P=0.006). There was a negative association between age and TL in our study. Our study results showed more significant telomere shortening per year in women than that in men. In addition, individuals with AD had greater telomere shortening every year than healthy individuals and individuals with MCI.