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Possible Association of Telomere Length With Sleep Duration. A Preliminary Pilot Study in a Sicilian Cohort with Centenarians

  • Authors: Aiello, Anna; Accardi, Giulia; Alì, Sawan; Caruso, Calogero; Chen, Maxine; De Vivo, Immaculata; Ligotti, Mattia Emanuela; Scapagnini, Giovanni; Davinelli, Sergio; Candore, Giuseppina
  • Publication year: 2021
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Telomere length (TL) is considered a biomarker of ageing although this topic is still debated. Also, sleep pattern changes are physiological part of the normal ageing process. In fact, it is widely recognized that sleep duration declines with age, leading to dysregulation of circadian rhythms. The aim of our study was to analyse the possible association of sleep duration with TL in a sample of 135 subjects with ages ranging from 20 to 111 years, recruited from Palermo and neighbouring municipalities in Sicily (Italy). Preliminary data suggest that relative TL (RTL) decreases with age in both men and women. However, at older ages, the difference between men and women tends to narrow. Nonagenarian and centenarian women do not show RTL values significantly different from those observed in adult and old women (40-89 years aged). Moreover, to analyse the relationship between TL and sleep, we stratified sleep duration into greater or lesser than 8-h periods. We found that centenarians, who daily sleep 8 hours or more, have longer RTL than centenarians who sleep fewer than 8 hours. Although the relatively small sample size of centenarians, we provide preliminary evidence that sleep duration may affect the RTL of centenarians. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the relationship between centenarians, RTL and sleep duration. Further studies with greater sample size of centenarians are required to replicate and extend these data.