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Racial differences in maternal and umbilical cord blood leukocyte telomere length and their correlations


Weber, Kari A; Heaphy, Christopher M; Joshu, Corinne E; Lu, Jiayun; Rohrmann, Sabine; Bienstock, Jessica L; Agurs-Collins, Tanya; Meeker, Alan K; Platz, Elizabeth A (2018). Racial differences in maternal and umbilical cord blood leukocyte telomere length and their correlations. Cancer Causes & Control, 29(8):759-767.

Abstract

PURPOSE Telomere length at birth sets the baseline for telomere shortening and may influence adult disease risk like cancer. Telomere length is heritable, but may also be a marker of exposures in utero, including those influencing racial differences in risk. We examined racial differences in telomere length in maternal and umbilical cord blood from male neonates, and maternal-neonate correlations to generate hypotheses. METHODS Black and white pregnant women were recruited in 2006-2007 and followed to postpartum. Data came from questionnaires and medical records. Relative telomere length was measured by qPCR in leukocyte DNA. We estimated mean telomere length in mothers and neonates (n = 55 pairs) using linear regression and maternal-cord blood Spearman correlations, overall and by race. RESULTS Black mothers had shorter age- and plate-adjusted telomere length (2.49, 95% CI 2.11-2.86) than whites (2.92, 95% CI 2.63-3.22; p = 0.1) and black neonates had shorter telomere length (2.58, 95% CI 2.16-3.01) than whites (3.13, 95% CI 2.79-3.47; p = 0.1), though not statistically significant. Differences were attenuated after further adjustment for maternal factors. Maternal-cord blood correlations were moderate (r = 0.53, p < 0.0001), and did not differ by race. CONCLUSION Telomere length may differ by race at birth due to both inherited and racial differences in maternal factors. This study was for hypothesis generation and results should be followed up in larger studies.

Abstract

PURPOSE Telomere length at birth sets the baseline for telomere shortening and may influence adult disease risk like cancer. Telomere length is heritable, but may also be a marker of exposures in utero, including those influencing racial differences in risk. We examined racial differences in telomere length in maternal and umbilical cord blood from male neonates, and maternal-neonate correlations to generate hypotheses. METHODS Black and white pregnant women were recruited in 2006-2007 and followed to postpartum. Data came from questionnaires and medical records. Relative telomere length was measured by qPCR in leukocyte DNA. We estimated mean telomere length in mothers and neonates (n = 55 pairs) using linear regression and maternal-cord blood Spearman correlations, overall and by race. RESULTS Black mothers had shorter age- and plate-adjusted telomere length (2.49, 95% CI 2.11-2.86) than whites (2.92, 95% CI 2.63-3.22; p = 0.1) and black neonates had shorter telomere length (2.58, 95% CI 2.16-3.01) than whites (3.13, 95% CI 2.79-3.47; p = 0.1), though not statistically significant. Differences were attenuated after further adjustment for maternal factors. Maternal-cord blood correlations were moderate (r = 0.53, p < 0.0001), and did not differ by race. CONCLUSION Telomere length may differ by race at birth due to both inherited and racial differences in maternal factors. This study was for hypothesis generation and results should be followed up in larger studies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:August 2018
Deposited On:14 Feb 2019 15:08
Last Modified:14 Feb 2019 15:18
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0957-5243
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-018-1054-8
PubMed ID:29980985

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