|Telomere (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Also discussed here: Telomere (Wikipedia)
Today we review research conducted with older men and women (median age 74) where several measures of aging and old age illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and cognitive abilities, were studied including chromosome characteristics (telomere length) and immune cell counts. Results indicate that air pollution exposure over a long time can damage the DNA, alter immune cell counts and add to oxidative stress with greater impact on men than women.
“Accelerated biological aging was assessed using telomere length (TeloAA) and three epigenetic measures: DNA methylation age acceleration (DNAmAA), extrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (correlated with immune cell counts, EEAA), and intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (independent of immune cell counts, IEAA).
“A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes… In humans, average telomere length declines from about 11 kilobases at birt to less than four kilobases in old age, with average rate of decline being greater in men than in women
“Air pollution exposure is associated with cardiovascular disease, impaired cognitive function , cancer, metabolic outcomes, and mortality. All of the aforementioned air pollution associated outcomes are also associated with aging …have linked air pollution exposure with DNA damage, epigenetic alterations, inflammation, and oxidative stress ”
“Both accelerated and decelerated biological aging have been linked with negative health outcomes with accelerated aging linked to mortality and metabolic dysfunction, and decelerated biological aging associated with the development of psychosocial stress”
“A 2015 study of 211 twins indicated that decreased residential traffic exposure of mothers was associated with longer placental telomere lengths indicating that long-term traffic exposure during pregnancy may be passed down and affect biological aging in utero.”
“Telomere-based and epigenetic measures of biological aging are associated with long-term exposure to air pollution and have distinct patterns of sex-specific associations.”