Obesity Accelerates Leukocyte Telomere Length Shortening in Apparently Healthy Adults: A Meta-Analysis

Sheida Khosravaniardakani, Dmitry Olegovich Bokov, Trias Mahmudiono, Seyedeh Sedigheh Hashemi, Negin Nikrad, Shadi Rabieemotmaen, Mahdieh Abbasalizad-Farhangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Shorter telomere length is associated with numerous comorbidities. Several studies have investigated the role of obesity in telomere shortening. In the current systematic review and meta-analysis, we summarized the results of studies that evaluated the association between obesity and telomere length. Methods: A systematic search from Scopus, PubMed, Embase, and ProQuest electronic databases up to 19 March 2021 without language restriction was performed and after data extraction and screening, 19 manuscripts were eligible to be included in the final meta-synthesis. Results: The highest category of telomere length was associated with an approximate 0.75 kg/m2 reduction in body mass index (BMI; WMD = −0.75 kg/m2; CI = −1.19, −0.31; p < 0.001; I2 = 99.4%). Moreover, overweight/obese individuals had 0.036 kbp shorter telomere length compared with non-overweight/obese adults (WMD = −0.036; CI = −0.05, −0.02; p = 0.030; I2 = 100%). According to the results of subgroupings, continent, age, and sample size could be possible sources of heterogeneity. Conclusion: From the results, it was clear that obesity was associated with shorter telomere length. Because of the observational design of included studies, the causality inference of results should be done with caution; thus, further longitudinal studies are warranted for better inference of causal association.

Original languageEnglish
Article number812846
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2022


  • adult
  • meta-analysis of hypothesis
  • obesity
  • systematic literature search
  • telomere length


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