Telomeres and the natural lifespan limit in humans

Troels Steenstrup, Jeremy D Kark, Simon Verhulst, Mikael Thinggaard, Jacob V B Hjelmborg, Christine Dalgård, Kirsten Ohm Kyvik, Lene Christiansen, Massimo Mangino, Timothy D Spector, Inge Petersen, Masayuki Kimura, Athanase Benetos, Carlos Labat, Ronit Sinnreich, Shih-Jen Hwang, Daniel Levy, Steven C Hunt, Annette L Fitzpatrick, Wei ChenGerald S Berenson, Michelangela Barbieri, Giuseppe Paolisso, Shahinaz M Gadalla, Sharon A Savage, Kaare Christensen, Anatoliy I Yashin, Konstantin G Arbeev, Abraham Aviv

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Abstract

An ongoing debate in demography has focused on whether the human lifespan has a maximal natural limit. Taking a mechanistic perspective, and knowing that short telomeres are associated with diminished longevity, we examined whether telomere length dynamics during adult life could set a maximal natural lifespan limit. We define leukocyte telomere length of 5 kb as the 'telomeric brink', which denotes a high risk of imminent death. We show that a subset of adults may reach the telomeric brink within the current life expectancy and more so for a 100-year life expectancy. Thus secular trends in life expectancy should confront a biological limit due to crossing the telomeric brink.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging
Volume9
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1130-1142
ISSN1945-4589
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Telomere
Life Expectancy

Keywords

  • Journal Article
  • Sex
  • Leukocytes
  • Longevity
  • Life-expectancy
  • Maximal lifespan

Cite this

Steenstrup, Troels ; Kark, Jeremy D ; Verhulst, Simon ; Thinggaard, Mikael ; Hjelmborg, Jacob V B ; Dalgård, Christine ; Kyvik, Kirsten Ohm ; Christiansen, Lene ; Mangino, Massimo ; Spector, Timothy D ; Petersen, Inge ; Kimura, Masayuki ; Benetos, Athanase ; Labat, Carlos ; Sinnreich, Ronit ; Hwang, Shih-Jen ; Levy, Daniel ; Hunt, Steven C ; Fitzpatrick, Annette L ; Chen, Wei ; Berenson, Gerald S ; Barbieri, Michelangela ; Paolisso, Giuseppe ; Gadalla, Shahinaz M ; Savage, Sharon A ; Christensen, Kaare ; Yashin, Anatoliy I ; Arbeev, Konstantin G ; Aviv, Abraham. / Telomeres and the natural lifespan limit in humans. In: Aging. 2017 ; Vol. 9, No. 4. pp. 1130-1142.
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abstract = "An ongoing debate in demography has focused on whether the human lifespan has a maximal natural limit. Taking a mechanistic perspective, and knowing that short telomeres are associated with diminished longevity, we examined whether telomere length dynamics during adult life could set a maximal natural lifespan limit. We define leukocyte telomere length of 5 kb as the 'telomeric brink', which denotes a high risk of imminent death. We show that a subset of adults may reach the telomeric brink within the current life expectancy and more so for a 100-year life expectancy. Thus secular trends in life expectancy should confront a biological limit due to crossing the telomeric brink.",
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Steenstrup, T, Kark, JD, Verhulst, S, Thinggaard, M, Hjelmborg, JVB, Dalgård, C, Kyvik, KO, Christiansen, L, Mangino, M, Spector, TD, Petersen, I, Kimura, M, Benetos, A, Labat, C, Sinnreich, R, Hwang, S-J, Levy, D, Hunt, SC, Fitzpatrick, AL, Chen, W, Berenson, GS, Barbieri, M, Paolisso, G, Gadalla, SM, Savage, SA, Christensen, K, Yashin, AI, Arbeev, KG & Aviv, A 2017, 'Telomeres and the natural lifespan limit in humans', Aging, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 1130-1142. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101216

Telomeres and the natural lifespan limit in humans. / Steenstrup, Troels; Kark, Jeremy D; Verhulst, Simon; Thinggaard, Mikael; Hjelmborg, Jacob V B; Dalgård, Christine; Kyvik, Kirsten Ohm; Christiansen, Lene; Mangino, Massimo; Spector, Timothy D; Petersen, Inge; Kimura, Masayuki; Benetos, Athanase; Labat, Carlos; Sinnreich, Ronit; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Levy, Daniel; Hunt, Steven C; Fitzpatrick, Annette L; Chen, Wei; Berenson, Gerald S; Barbieri, Michelangela; Paolisso, Giuseppe; Gadalla, Shahinaz M; Savage, Sharon A; Christensen, Kaare; Yashin, Anatoliy I; Arbeev, Konstantin G; Aviv, Abraham.

In: Aging, Vol. 9, No. 4, 2017, p. 1130-1142.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Steenstrup, Troels

AU - Kark, Jeremy D

AU - Verhulst, Simon

AU - Thinggaard, Mikael

AU - Hjelmborg, Jacob V B

AU - Dalgård, Christine

AU - Kyvik, Kirsten Ohm

AU - Christiansen, Lene

AU - Mangino, Massimo

AU - Spector, Timothy D

AU - Petersen, Inge

AU - Kimura, Masayuki

AU - Benetos, Athanase

AU - Labat, Carlos

AU - Sinnreich, Ronit

AU - Hwang, Shih-Jen

AU - Levy, Daniel

AU - Hunt, Steven C

AU - Fitzpatrick, Annette L

AU - Chen, Wei

AU - Berenson, Gerald S

AU - Barbieri, Michelangela

AU - Paolisso, Giuseppe

AU - Gadalla, Shahinaz M

AU - Savage, Sharon A

AU - Christensen, Kaare

AU - Yashin, Anatoliy I

AU - Arbeev, Konstantin G

AU - Aviv, Abraham

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - An ongoing debate in demography has focused on whether the human lifespan has a maximal natural limit. Taking a mechanistic perspective, and knowing that short telomeres are associated with diminished longevity, we examined whether telomere length dynamics during adult life could set a maximal natural lifespan limit. We define leukocyte telomere length of 5 kb as the 'telomeric brink', which denotes a high risk of imminent death. We show that a subset of adults may reach the telomeric brink within the current life expectancy and more so for a 100-year life expectancy. Thus secular trends in life expectancy should confront a biological limit due to crossing the telomeric brink.

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KW - life-expectancy

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KW - sex

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KW - Sex

KW - Leukocytes

KW - Longevity

KW - Life-expectancy

KW - Maximal lifespan

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DO - 10.18632/aging.101216

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C2 - 28394764

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JO - Aging

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SN - 1945-4589

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