Educational attainment and mean leukocyte telomere length in women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk population study.
Brain, behavior, and immunity 2011 ; 26: 414-8.
PubMed ID : 22178899
Telomere length has been postulated as a marker of biological aging. Recent evidence has suggested that educational attainment but not social class is associated with telemore length.
We investigated the associations between educational attainment, social class and relative mean telomere length in an ethnically homogeneous population of 4441 women, aged 41-80 years. Mean telomere length was measured using high-throughput quantitative Real Time PCR.
Educational attainment (p=0.015) but not social class (p=0.61) was associated with mean telomere length in these data. This association was independent of social class and of systolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, cigarette smoking, body mass index, glycated hemoglobin, plasma vitamin C and physical activity (p=0.014), and was not attenuated through additional adjustment for measures of social adversity, including those experienced during childhood (p=0.006).
Our results, at least for women, provide support for the findings previously reported in this journal that lower educational attainment, but not social class, is associated with shorter telomere length.