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Diet quality and telomere length in older Australian men and women
journal contributionposted on 2018-02-01, 00:00 authored by Catherine MilteCatherine Milte, Aaron RussellAaron Russell, Kylie BallKylie Ball, David CrawfordDavid Crawford, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Sarah McNaughtonSarah McNaughton
PURPOSE: Telomere length is a biomarker of cellular ageing, with longer telomeres associated with longevity and reduced risk of chronic disease in older age. Consumption of a healthy diet may contribute to longevity via its impact on cellular ageing, but studies on diet and telomere length to date have been limited and their findings equivocal. The aim of this study was to examine associations between three indices of diet quality and telomere length in older men and women. METHODS: Adults aged 57-68 years participating in the Wellbeing, Eating and Exercise for a Long Life (WELL) study in Victoria, Australia (n = 679), completed a postal survey including an 111-item food frequency questionnaire in 2012. Diet quality was assessed via three indices: the Dietary Guideline Index, the Recommended Food Score, and the Mediterranean Diet Score. Relative telomere length was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Associations between diet quality and telomere length were assessed using linear regression adjusted for covariates. RESULTS: After adjustment for age, sex, education, smoking, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI), there were no significant associations between diet quality and relative telomere length. CONCLUSIONS: In a sample of older adults residing in Victoria, Australia, men and women aged 57-68 years with better-quality diets did not have longer telomeres. Further investigation in longitudinal studies will determine whether diet can influence telomere length over time in an ageing population.