Association of sleep quality with telomere length, a marker of cellular aging: A retrospective cohort study of older adults in the United States

Chibuzo Iloabuchi, Kim E. Innes, Usha Sambamoorthi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Sleep quality is a risk factor for age-related diseases, and although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear, the effects of poor sleep quality on telomere length (TL) may play a role. Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the independent association between sleep quality and salivary TL in a large sample of older adults. Design: We adopted a retrospective cohort design, and participants comprised 5,268 adults drawn from the Health and Retirement Study. We used the 2006 (baseline) and 2008 (follow-up) waves. Baseline sleep quality was assessed using 4 Likert scale questions (trouble falling asleep, waking up during the night, waking up too early and not being able to fall sleep again, and feeling well rested in the morning). The TL was assessed using the T/S ratio, a continuous variable. The associations between sleep quality and T/S were assessed using multivariable ordinary least squares regressions. All analyses were adjusted for demographics, lifestyle characteristics, psychosocial, and other factors. Results: Overall, 16% reported never feeling well rested in the morning; 25.7% of respondents always had trouble waking during the night; and 12.8% always had trouble waking up too early in the morning. Respondents who never felt rested in the morning had significantly shorter TL than those who always felt rested in the morning (adjusted beta = -0.08, standard error = 0.03, P < .01). The composite sleep measure was not significantly associated with shorter TL. Conclusions: In this cohort of older adults, not feeling well rested in the morning was significantly and inversely associated with TL; however, the composite measure of sleep quality was not significantly associated with TL. These findings suggest a potential connection between one of the measures of impaired sleep and reduction in TL, a marker of cellular aging that has been linked to multiple chronic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-521
Number of pages9
JournalSleep Health
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Biology of aging
  • Biomarkers
  • Population health
  • Sleep quality
  • Telomeres

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Association of sleep quality with telomere length, a marker of cellular aging: A retrospective cohort study of older adults in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this