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Telomeres and the natural lifespan limit in humans

Troels Steenstrup 1 Jeremy Kark 2 Simon Verhulst 3 Mikael Thinggaard 4, 5 Jacob Hjelmborg 1, 6 Christine Dalgård 7 Kirsten Ohm Kyvik 8 Lene Christiansen 1 Massimo Mangino 9, 10 Timothy Spector 11 Inge Petersen 1 Masayuki Kimura 12 Athanase Benetos 13 Carlos Labat 13, 14 Ronit Sinnreich 2 Shih-Jen Hwang 15 Daniel Lévy 16 Steven Hunt 17 Annette Fitzpatrick 18 Wei Chen 19 Gerald Berenson 20 Michelangela Barbieri 21 Giuseppe Paolisso 21 Shahinaz Gadalla 22 Sharon Savage 22 Kaare Christensen 5 Anatoliy Yashin 23 Konstantin Arbeev 23 Abraham Aviv 12
Abstract : An ongoing debate in demography has focused on whether the human lifespan has a maximal natural limit. Taking a mechanistic perspective, and knowing that short telomeres are associated with diminished longevity, we examined whether telomere length dynamics during adult life could set a maximal natural lifespan limit. We define leukocyte telomere length of 5 kb as the 'telomeric brink', which denotes a high risk of imminent death. We show that a subset of adults may reach the telomeric brink within the current life expectancy and more so for a 100-year life expectancy. Thus, secular trends in life expectancy should confront a biological limit due to crossing the telomeric brink.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 5:08:24 PM
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Troels Steenstrup, Jeremy Kark, Simon Verhulst, Mikael Thinggaard, Jacob Hjelmborg, et al.. Telomeres and the natural lifespan limit in humans. Aging, Impact Journals, 2017, 9 (4), pp.1130-1142. ⟨10.18632/aging.101216⟩. ⟨hal-02519086⟩



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