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Mammographic density, blood telomere length and lipid peroxidation.

Erdmann NJ, Harrington LA, Martin LJ

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2M9, Canada.

Extensive mammographic density is a strong risk factor for breast cancer, but may also be an indicator of biological age. In this study we examined whether mammographic density is related to blood telomere length, a potential marker of susceptibility to age-related disease. We measured mammographic density by a computer assisted method and blood telomere length using a validated PCR method. Urinary malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid peroxidation, was measured in 24 hour urine collections. In the 342 women examined telomere length was negatively correlated with age, was lower in postmenopausal compared to premenopausal women and in smokers compared to non-smokers, and was positively correlated with urinary MDA. Telomere length was not associated with percent mammographic density or dense area, before or after adjustment for risk factors and MDA. However, there was a significant interaction between telomere length and MDA in their association with mammographic density. At lower levels of MDA, mammographic density and telomere length were inversely associated; while at high levels of MDA, there was evidence of a J-shaped association between mammographic density and telomere length. Further work is need to replicate these results and to examine the association of mammographic density with age-related chronic disease and mortality.

Sci Rep 2017;7(1):5803.

Pubmed ID: 28725051

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