Telomeres & Ageing

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Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, and consumption of unhealthy diet can increase the pace of telomere shortening, leading to illness and/or premature death. Accelerated  telomere shortening is associated with early onset of many age-associated health problems, including coronary heart disease [27,28,29], heart failure [30], diabetes [31], increased cancer risk [32,33],and osteoporosis [34]. The individuals whose leukocyte telomeres are shorter than the corresponding average telomere length have three-fold higher risk to develop myocardial infarction [13]. Evaluation of telomere length in elders shows that the individuals with shorter telomeres have a much higher rate of mortality than those with longer telomeres [10]. Excessive or accelerated telomere shortening can affect health and lifespan at multiple levels. – Masood A. Shammas Harvard (Dana Farber) Cancer Institute, Boston,Massachusetts

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