Association of Psychosocial Factors with Leukocyte Telomere Length among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study.

Author: Jordan CD1, Glover LM2, Gao Y1, Musani SK1, Mwasongwe S3, Wilson JG1, Reiner A4, Diez-Roux A5, Sims M1
Author Information:
1University of Mississippi Medical Center, School of Medicine, Jackson, MS.
2Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
3Jackson State University, Jackson Heart Study, Jackson, MS.
4University of Washington, School of Public Health, Seattle, WA.
5Dornslife School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.
Conference/Journal: Stress Health.
Date published: 2018 Nov 8
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/smi.2848. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 210

Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a biomarker of cellular aging. African Americans report more stress than other groups; however, the association of psychosocial stressors with biological aging among African Americans remains unclear. The current study evaluated the association of psychosocial factors (negative affect and stressors) with LTL in a large sample of African American men and women (n=2,516) from the Jackson Heart Study (JHS). Using multivariable linear regression, we examined the sex-specific associations of psychosocial factors (cynical distrust, anger-in and -out, depressive symptoms, negative affect summary scores, global stress, weekly stress, and major life events-MLEs, and stress summary scores) with LTL. Model 1 adjusted for demographics and education. Model 2 adjusted for model 1, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, diabetes, hypertension, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). Among women, high (vs. low) cynical distrust was associated with shorter mean LTL in model 1 (b = -0.12; p=0.039). Additionally, high (vs. low) anger-out and expressed negative affect summary scores were associated with shorter LTL among women after full adjustment (b = -0.13; p=0.011; b = -0.12, p=0.031, respectively). High levels of cynical distrust, anger out and negative affect summary scores may be risk factors for shorter LTL, particularly among African American women.

KEYWORDS: African Americans; Jackson Heart Study; leukocyte telomere length; negative affect; psychosocial factors; stress

PMID: 30407711 DOI: 10.1002/smi.2848