UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Smoking does not accelerate leucocyte telomere attrition: a meta-analysis of 18 longitudinal cohorts

Bateson, M; Aviv, A; Bendix, L; Benetos, A; Ben-Shlomo, Y; Bojesen, SE; Cooper, C; ... Nettle, D; + view all (2019) Smoking does not accelerate leucocyte telomere attrition: a meta-analysis of 18 longitudinal cohorts. Royal Society Open Science , 6 (6) , Article 190420. 10.1098/rsos.190420. Green open access

[thumbnail of rsos.190420.pdf]
Preview
Text
rsos.190420.pdf - Published Version

Download (974kB) | Preview

Abstract

Smoking is associated with shorter leucocyte telomere length (LTL), a biomarker of increased morbidity and reduced longevity. This association is widely interpreted as evidence that smoking causes accelerated LTL attrition in adulthood, but the evidence for this is inconsistent. We analysed the association between smoking and LTL dynamics in 18 longitudinal cohorts. The dataset included data from 12 579 adults (4678 current smokers and 7901 non-smokers) over a mean follow-up interval of 8.6 years. Meta-analysis confirmed a cross-sectional difference in LTL between smokers and non-smokers, with mean LTL 84.61 bp shorter in smokers (95% CI: 22.62 to 146.61). However, LTL attrition was only 0.51 bp yr−1 faster in smokers than in non-smokers (95% CI: −2.09 to 1.08), a difference that equates to only 1.32% of the estimated age-related loss of 38.33 bp yr−1. Assuming a linear effect of smoking, 167 years of smoking would be required to generate the observed cross-sectional difference in LTL. Therefore, the difference in LTL between smokers and non-smokers is extremely unlikely to be explained by a linear, causal effect of smoking. Selective adoption, whereby individuals with short telomeres are more likely to start smoking, needs to be considered as a more plausible explanation for the observed pattern of telomere dynamics.

Type: Article
Title: Smoking does not accelerate leucocyte telomere attrition: a meta-analysis of 18 longitudinal cohorts
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.190420
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190420
Language: English
Additional information: Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097525
Downloads since deposit
19Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item