Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 2 pp 2089—2100

Relationship between telomere shortening and age in Korean individuals with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease compared to that in healthy controls

Eun-Hye Lee1, *, , Myung-Hoon Han2, *, , Jungsoon Ha1,3, *, , Hyun-Hee Park1, , Seong-Ho Koh1,4, , Seong Hye Choi5, , Jae-Hong Lee6, ,

  • 1 Department of Neurology, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri 11923, South Korea
  • 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri 11923, South Korea
  • 3 GemVax & Kael Co., Ltd, Seongnam 13461, South Korea
  • 4 Department of Translational Medicine, Hanyang University Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Seoul 04763, South Korea
  • 5 Department of Neurology, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon 22332, South Korea
  • 6 Department of Neurology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul 05505, South Korea
* Equal contribution

Received: July 7, 2020       Accepted: October 22, 2020       Published: December 15, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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.


AD: Alzheimer’s disease; CDR: Clinical Dementia Rating; MCI: mild cognitive impairment; NIA-AA: National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association; PET: positron emission tomography; SUVR: standardized uptake value ratio; TL: telomere length.