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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5427657, 4 pages
Research Article

Food Security and Leukocyte Telomere Length in Adult Americans

1Key State Laboratory of Molecular Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, International College, The University of Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China
3Non-Communicable Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
4Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
5College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, 104 Clinic Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 2Z4

Correspondence should be addressed to Hassan Vatanparast

Received 23 February 2017; Revised 12 June 2017; Accepted 27 June 2017; Published 29 August 2017

Academic Editor: Ada Popolo

Copyright © 2017 Mohsen Mazidi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background and Purpose. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a biomarker of biologic age. Whether food security status modulates LTL is still unknown. We investigated the association between food security and LTL in participants of the 1999–2002 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Methods. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to evaluate the association between food security categories and LTL controlling for sex, race, and education and accounting for the survey design and sample weights. Results. We included 10,888 participants with 5228 (48.0%) being men. They were aged on average 44.1 years. In all, 2362 (21.7%) had less than high school, 2787 (25.6%) had achieved high school, while 5705 (52.5%) had done more than high school. In sex-, race-, and education-adjusted ANCOVA, average LTL (T/S ratio) for participants with high food security versus those with marginal, low, or very low food security was 1.32 versus 1.20 for the age group 25–35 years and 1.26 versus 1.11 for the 35–45 years, (). Conclusion. The association between food insecurity and LTL shortening in young adults suggest that some of the future effects of food insecurity on chronic disease risk in this population could be mediated by telomere shortening.