Short telomere length is associated with chronic diseases and decreased lifespan. Vitamin D and its binding protein (DBP) may maintain telomeres through anti-inflammatory actions, yet the role of vitamin D on telomere length is uncertain, especially in children. We assessed the cross-sectional associations of plasma 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) and DBP with leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in a group of 447 children ages 5–12 years from the Bogotá School Children Cohort. We compared the distribution of age-standardized LTL (z-score) between 25(OH)D categories and between DBP quartiles overall and by sex. Overall, 25(OH)D was not significantly associated with LTL. Nonetheless, among boys, 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L was related to an adjusted 0.36 shorter LTL z-score (95% CI: −0.71, −0.01; P = 0.046) compared with 25(OH)D ≥ 75 nmol/L. There was no association among girls. DBP was not significantly related to LTL. Intervention studies are warranted to determine whether increasing vitamin D status enhances telomere length.
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The dataset analyzed during the current study is available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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This work was supported by the ASISA Research Fund at the University of Michigan.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Bussa, R.M., Mora-Plazas, M., Marín, C. et al. Vitamin D status and leukocyte telomere length in middle childhood. Eur J Clin Nutr (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-022-01236-w