Alcohol consumption and telomere length: Mendelian randomization clarifies alcohol's effects.
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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Topiwala, A., Taschler, B., Ebmeier, K., Smith, S., Zhou, H., Levey, D., Codd, V., et al. (2022). Alcohol consumption and telomere length: Mendelian randomization clarifies alcohol's effects.. Mol Psychiatry https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01690-9
Alcohol's impact on telomere length, a proposed marker of biological aging, is unclear. We performed the largest observational study to date (in n = 245,354 UK Biobank participants) and compared findings with Mendelian randomization (MR) estimates. Two-sample MR used data from 472,174 participants in a recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of telomere length. Genetic variants were selected on the basis of associations with alcohol consumption (n = 941,280) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) (n = 57,564 cases). Non-linear MR employed UK Biobank individual data. MR analyses suggested a causal relationship between alcohol traits, more strongly for AUD, and telomere length. Higher genetically-predicted AUD (inverse variance-weighted (IVW) β = -0.06, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.10 to -0.02, p = 0.001) was associated with shorter telomere length. There was a weaker association with genetically-predicted alcoholic drinks weekly (IVW β = -0.07, CI: -0.14 to -0.01, p = 0.03). Results were consistent across methods and independent from smoking. Non-linear analyses indicated a potential threshold relationship between alcohol and telomere length. Our findings indicate that alcohol consumption may shorten telomere length. There are implications for age-related diseases.
Wellcome Trust (204623/Z/16/Z)
Medical Research Council (MR/M012816/1)
National Institute for Health Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01690-9
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/338392
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Licence URL: http://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved
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