Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shortening is characteristic of aging and is associated with morbidity and mortality, independent of age. Research demonstrates that lower extremity muscular strength is associated with mobility, morbidity and mortality; however, no study, to our knowledge, had examined the association between lower extremity muscular strength and LTL, which was the purpose of this brief study.
Data from the 1999-2002 NHANES was used (N=2,410; 50-85 yrs). Peak isokinetic knee extensor strength (IKES) was objectively measured with LTL assessed from a blood sample.
After adjustments, for every 50 newton increase in IKES, participants had a 9% reduced odds (p=0.04) of being in the 1st (vs. 4th) LTL quartile.
Lower extremity muscular strength is associated with LTL, suggesting a possible mechanism through which lower extremity muscular strength may be associated with morbidity and mortality.