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Gender and telomere length : systematic review and meta-analysis

Gardner, Michael and Bann, David and Wiley, Laura and Cooper, Rachel and Hardy, Rebecca and Nitsch, Dorothea and Martin-Ruiz, Carmen and Shiels, Paul and Sayer, Avan Aihie and Barbieri, Michelangela and Bekaert, Sofie and Bischoff, Claus and Brooks-Wilson, Angela and Chen, Wei and Cooper, Cyrus and Christensen, Kaare and De Meyer, Tim and Deary, Ian and Der, Geoff and Diez Roux, Ana and Fitzpatrick, Annette and Hajat, Anjum and Halaschek-Wiener, Julius and Harris, Sarah and Hunt, Steven C and Jagger, Carol and Jeon, Hyo-Sung and Kaplan, Robert and Kimura, Masayuki and Lansdorp, Peter and Li, Changyong and Maeda, Toyoki and Mangino, Massimo and Nawrot, Tim S and Nilsson, Peter and Nordfjall, Katarina and Paolisso, Giuseppe and Ren, Fu and Riabowol, Karl and Robertson, Tony and Roos, Goran and Staessen, Jan A and Spector, Tim and Tang, Nelson and Unryn, Brad and van der Harst, Pim and Woo, Jean and Xing, Chao and Yadegarfar, Mohammad E and Park, Jae Yong and Young, Neal and Kuh, Diana and von Zglinicki, Thomas and Ben-Shlomo, Yoav and , Halcyon study team (2014) Gender and telomere length : systematic review and meta-analysis. Experimental gerontology, 51. pp. 15-27. ISSN 0531-5565. DOI 10.1016/j.exger.2013.12.004

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BACKGROUND: It is widely believed that females have longer telomeres than males, although results from studies have been contradictory. METHODS: We carried out a systematic review and meta-analyses to test the hypothesis that in humans, females have longer telomeres than males and that this association becomes stronger with increasing age. Searches were conducted in EMBASE and MEDLINE (by November 2009) and additional datasets were obtained from study investigators. Eligible observational studies measured telomeres for both females and males of any age, had a minimum sample size of 100 and included participants not part of a diseased group. We calculated summary estimates using random-effects meta-analyses. Heterogeneity between studies was investigated using sub-group analysis and meta-regression. RESULTS: Meta-analyses from 36 cohorts (36,230 participants) showed that on average females had longer telomeres than males (standardised difference in telomere length between females and males 0.090, 95% CI 0.015, 0.166; age-adjusted). There was little evidence that these associations varied by age group (p=1.00) or cell type (p=0.29). However, the size of this difference did vary by measurement methods, with only Southern blot but neither real-time PCR nor Flow-FISH showing a significant difference. This difference was not associated with random measurement error. CONCLUSIONS: Telomere length is longer in females than males, although this difference was not universally found in studies that did not use Southern blot methods. Further research on explanations for the methodological differences is required.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Controlled Keywords: Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Sex Factors, Telomere
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 08 May 2015 09:58
Last Modified: 08 May 2015 09:58
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