Childhood adversities are associated with shorter leukocyte telomere length at adult age in a population-based study

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Ämmälä , A-J , Suvisaari , J , Kananen , L , Lönnqvist , J , Ripatti , S , Pirkola , S , Paunio , T & Hovatta , I 2021 , ' Childhood adversities are associated with shorter leukocyte telomere length at adult age in a population-based study ' , Psychoneuroendocrinology , vol. 130 , 105276 .

Title: Childhood adversities are associated with shorter leukocyte telomere length at adult age in a population-based study
Author: Ämmälä, Antti-Jussi; Suvisaari, Jaana; Kananen, Laura; Lönnqvist, Jouko; Ripatti, Samuli; Pirkola, Sami; Paunio, Tiina; Hovatta, Iiris
Contributor organization: Department of Psychiatry
HUS Psychiatry
Research Programs Unit
STEMM - Stem Cells and Metabolism Research Program
University of Helsinki
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Centre of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics
Department of Public Health
Samuli Olli Ripatti / Principal Investigator
Complex Disease Genetics
Biostatistics Helsinki
Department of Biochemistry and Developmental Biology
Faculty of Medicine
Helsinki University Hospital Area
SLEEPWELL Research Program
Mind and Matter
Department of Psychology and Logopedics
Iiris Hovatta / Principal Investigator
Neuroscience Center
Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE
Date: 2021-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 7
Belongs to series: Psychoneuroendocrinology
ISSN: 0306-4530
Abstract: Telomeres are repeat sequences and an associated protein complex located at the end of the chromosomes. They shorten with every cell division and are regarded markers for cellular aging. Shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) has been observed in many complex diseases, including psychiatric disorders. However, analyses focusing on psychiatric disorders are mainly based on clinical samples and the significance of shorter LTL on the population level remains uncertain. We addressed this question in a population-based sample from Finland (N = 7142). The survey was performed and the blood samples were collected in 2000-2001 to assess major public health problems and their determinants. DSM-IV diagnoses of major psychiatric illnesses were obtained by interview using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Information regarding their risk factors, including the number of self-reported childhood adversities, recent psychological distress, and sleep difficulties was collected by questionnaires. LTL was measured by qPCR. None of the studied psychiatric illnesses, sleep difficulties, or recent psychological distress associated with LTL. However, individuals with three or more childhood adversities had shorter LTL at adult age (13 = -0.006, P = 0.005). Also, current occupational status was associated with LTL (13 = -0.03, P = 0.04). These effects remained significant after adjusting for known LTLassociated lifestyle or sociodemographic factors. In conclusion, relatively common childhood adversities were associated with shorter LTL at adult age in a nationally representative population-based cohort, implying that childhood adversities may cause accelerated telomere shortening. Our finding has potentially important implications as it supports the view that childhood adversities have an impact on psychological and somatic wellbeing later in life.
Subject: Telomere
Childhood adversity
Psychiatric disorders
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3112 Neurosciences
3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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