‘Indian women in the 30-40 age group should focus on positive lifestyle changes’

A recent study has revealed that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is related to obesity in prediabetic and type 2 diabetic women. LTL is the most widely used measure to study age-dependent shortening and disease risk in human populations. The study explored the relationship between prediabetes, truncal obesity, and LTL, the shortening of which indicates faster aging and premature death. The research was conceived and designed by Padma Shri Award-winning Dr. Anoop Misra, Executive Chairman and Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Fortis C-DOC Hospital for Diabetes and Allied Sciences, and conducted jointly by Surya Prakash Bhatt, Ravindra Mohan Pandey and Ashish Datt Upadhyay. The findings were recently published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research, and Care. The study revealed how Indian women within the age group of 30-40 years should be careful and focus a lot on making positive lifestyle changes.

LTL is already known to be linked to aging and associated diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. This is the first study investigating the relationship of LTL in prediabetic women, and specifically, the relationship of LTL with obesity is reported for the first time in women.

In this cross-sectional study from July 2015 to December 2020, 1361 North Indian women (20-60 years) were randomly selected. Among them, 797 prediabetic women (obese, 492; non-obese, 305) were recruited and their demographic, clinical, and fasting blood glucose profiles were evaluated. LTL was quantified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is a laboratory technique to rapidly amplify millions of copies of a specific segment of DNA. Along with that, telomere length was detected from DNA samples and expressed as the mean T/S ratio (telomere repeats per single copy gene). Study subjects were randomly assigned to be roughly representative of high-, middle-, and low-income groups from 41 residential areas. Many of them were excluded for various reasons: use of oral antidiabetic drugs, alcohol, tobacco or drug abuse, any medication that could affect insulin sensitivity, pregnant women, serious target organ damage or chronic disease, malignancy, and others. endocrine disorders and liver, kidney, thyroid or other significant endocrine diseases.

Key results

Study links LTL in women with abnormal fasting blood glucose (prediabetes). The relationship of LTL to fatness, particularly in the truncal part of the body, is reported for the first time. The mean LTL was significantly shorter in obese women with prediabetes. The R-squared (R2) statistic for the multivariable linear model after adjusting for age, family income, education, and hypertension showed that LTL was inversely correlated with Body Mass Index (BMI), waist and hip circumference, waist-hip and waist-to-height ratio, truncal skinfold ratio (triceps ratio, central and total skinfolds), fat mass (kg), and body fat percentage.

In addition to age, obesity and truncal body fat distribution are major contributors to telomere shortening in women with abnormal fasting blood glucose. Dr. Misra shared: “In addition to age, obesity and subcutaneous (predominantly truncal) adiposity are major contributors to telomere shortening in Asian Indian women with abnormal fasting blood glucose (impaired fasting glucose). This means that Indian women who have excess trunk fat and prediabetes may have lower longevity. It has a connotation in the mortality statistics of women in India, as well as huge implications for the prevention of prediabetes.” Lead author Dr Surya Prakash said: “Obesity in Indian women starts to increase in the 30-40 age group, and that is where most lifestyle efforts should be concentrated.” .

Source: indianexpress.com