Nutr Res Pract.  2017 Aug;11(4):334-339. 10.4162/nrp.2017.11.4.334.

Associations of alcohol consumption and alcohol flush reaction with leukocyte telomere length in Korean adults

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Science and Technology, Kookmin University, 77, Jeongnung-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02707, Korea. ibaik@kookmin.ac.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES
Telomere length is a useful biomarker for determining general aging status. Some studies have reported an association between alcohol consumption and telomere length in a general population; however, it is unclear whether the alcohol flush reaction, which is an alcohol-related trait predominantly due to acetaldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency, is associated with telomere length. This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the associations of alcohol consumption and alcohol flush reaction with leukocyte telomere length (LTL).
SUBJECTS/METHODS
The study included 1,803 Korean adults. Participants provided blood specimens for LTL measurement assay and reported their alcohol drinking status and the presence of an alcohol flush reaction via a questionnaire-based interview. Relative LTL was determined by using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Statistical analysis used multiple linear regression models stratified by sex and age groups, and potential confounding factors were considered.
RESULTS
Age-specific analyses showed that heavy alcohol consumption (> 30 g/day) was strongly associated with a reduced LTL in participants aged ≥ 65 years (P < 0.001) but not in younger participants. Similarly, the alcohol flush reaction was associated with a reduced LTL only in older participants who consumed > 15 g/day of alcohol (P < 0.01). No significant alcohol consumption or alcohol flush reaction associations with LTL were observed in the sex-specific analyses.
CONCLUSIONS
The results suggest that older alcohol drinkers, particularly those with the alcohol flush reaction, may have an accelerated aging process.

Keyword

Alcohol; telomere; aging; aldehyde dehydrogenase

MeSH Terms

Acetaldehyde
Adult*
Aging
Alcohol Drinking*
Aldehyde Dehydrogenase
Cross-Sectional Studies
Humans
Leukocytes*
Linear Models
Oxidoreductases
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Telomere*
Acetaldehyde
Aldehyde Dehydrogenase
Oxidoreductases

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