Changes in telomere length 3–5 years after gastric bypass surgery

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Increased inflammation and oxidative stress associated with obesity can accelerate aging. Telomere length (TL) has the capacity to serve as an aging indicator at the cellular level. Obesity has a known association with shorter TL. This study evaluated TL of immune cells in a population of obese individuals who underwent gastric bypass surgery. Pre- and post-operative DNA samples were available for 50 subjects who had gastric bypass surgery. DNA was analyzed via quantitative polymerase chain reaction to determine TL. Changes in TL were evaluated by comparing TL at baseline to TL at 3–5 years post gastric bypass surgery. Sixty percent of the individuals in the study observed an increase in TL. Significant lengthening was observed for those with the shortest baseline TL (P = 0.0011), but not for those with intermediate baseline TL (P = 0.411) or longest baseline TL (P = 0.207). Change in TL was negatively correlated with age and triglycerides but not correlated with weight loss induced by bariatric surgery. This study confirms that TL lengthening is observed post bariatric surgery and is the first to detect TL lengthening 3–5 years after surgery.

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