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Telomere length and depression: Prospective cohort study and Mendelian randomisation study in 67 306 individuals

  • Marie Kim Wium-Andersen (a1), David Dynnes Ørsted (a1), Line Rode (a1), Stig Egil Bojesen (a2) and Børge Grønne Nordestgaard (a2)...
Abstract
Background

Depression has been cross-sectionally associated with short telomeres as a measure of biological age. However, the direction and nature of the association is currently unclear.

Aims

We examined whether short telomere length is associated with depression cross-sectionally as well as prospectively and genetically.

Method

Telomere length and three polymorphisms, TERT, TERC and OBFC1, were measured in 67306 individuals aged 20–100 years from the Danish general population and associated with register-based attendance at hospital for depression and purchase of antidepressant medication.

Results

Attendance at hospital for depression was associated with short telomere length cross-sectionally, but not prospectively. Further, purchase of antidepressant medication was not associated with short telomere length cross-sectionally or prospectively. Mean follow-up was 7.6 years (range 0.0–21.5). The genetic analyses suggested that telomere length was not causally associated with attendance at hospital for depression or with purchase of antidepressant medication.

Conclusions

Short telomeres were not associated with depression in prospective or in causal, genetic analyses.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Børge G. Nordestgaard, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev Ringvej 75, 2730 Herlev, Denmark. Email: Boerge.Nordestgaard@regionh.dk
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Telomere length and depression: Prospective cohort study and Mendelian randomisation study in 67 306 individuals

  • Marie Kim Wium-Andersen (a1), David Dynnes Ørsted (a1), Line Rode (a1), Stig Egil Bojesen (a2) and Børge Grønne Nordestgaard (a2)...
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