SUMMARY: Identification of 6 novel genomic regions associated with leukocyte telomere length.
OVERVIEW: Telomeres are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes which get shorter as our bodies age. Telomere length (TL) is typically measured in leukocytes from blood samples. It can be used as a biomarker for aging and age-related diseases like coronary artery disease and some cancers. This genome-wide meta-analysis of over 78,000 individuals of European descent sought to identify genomic regions associated with leukocyte TL to better understand how telomere length is regulated. The study reported 20 genomic regions associated with leukocyte TL, including 6 that are reported for the first time. Some of the genes in these regions have been previously linked to DNA damage repair.
DID YOU KNOW? Regular exercise has been shown to extend telomere length. Drinking alcohol, smoking, and eating red meats fried in oil accelerates the shortening of telomeres. [SOURCE]
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LENGTH-ASSOCIATED VARIANTS: rs10936600, rs7705526, rs2853677, rs4691895, rs9419958, rs75691080, rs59294613, rs8105767, rs73624724, rs3219104, rs2736176, rs3785074, rs7194734, rs34978822, rs34991172, rs228595, rs2302588, rs13137667, rs55749605, rs62053580
WEEKLY UPDATE: March 9, 2020