The association between telomere length and frailty: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author: Zhou J1, Wang J2, Shen Y3, Yang Y1, Huang P4, Chen S1, Zou C1, Dong B5
1Geriatrics Department, Chengdu Fifth People's Hospital, Chengdu, China; Chengdu-Montpellier Geriatric Research Center, China.
2Department of medicine, Jinggangshan University, Ji'an, China.
3Chengdu Medical college, Chengdu, China.
4West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China.
5The Center of Gerontology and Geriatrics, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China; Collaborative Innovation Center of Sichuan for Elderly Care and Health, Chengdu, China. Electronic address:
Conference/Journal: Exp Gerontol.
Date published: 2018 Mar 5
Other: Pages: S0531-5565(17)30532-6 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.02.030. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 211

BACKGROUND: Several studies have examined the association between telomere length and frailty, but results from these studies are contradictory. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the association between telomere length and frailty.

METHODS: We searched the literature in Ovid (MEDLINE), Embase, PubMed, Web of Knowledge and Cochrane databases in July 2017 for studies evaluating the association of telomere length and the risk of frailty.

RESULTS: A total of 5 studies (3268 participants) were eligible in our study. The prevalence of frailty ranged from 5.4% to 51.1%. The pooled mean difference of telomere length for the non-frail versus frail was 0.06 (95% CI: -0.01, 0.13), suggesting that no significant association was found between telomere length and frailty. In addition, the subgroup analysis indicated that telomere length was not significantly associated with the risk of frailty in all gender groups. Similar results were also found when frailty was defined by the Fried criteria (mean difference = 0.07, 95% CI: -0.03, 0.16) and frailty index (mean difference = -0.02, 95% CI: -0.05, 0.01), but not by the frailty scale (mean difference = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.32).

CONCLUSION: Telomere length is not associated with the risk of frailty. Well-designed prospective studies are needed to evaluate further whether telomere length is a meaningful biological marker for frailty.

Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

KEYWORDS: Frailty; Meta-analysis; Telomere length

PMID: 29518479 DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.02.030