© 2014 Published by Elsevier Inc.
Telomeres are long nucleotide repeats and protein complexes at the ends of chromosomes that are essential for maintaining chromosomal stability. They shorten with each cell division, and therefore, telomere length is a marker for cellular aging and senescence. Epidemiological research of telomeres investigates the role that these genetic structures have in disease risk and mortality in human populations. This chapter provides an overview of the current telomere epidemiology research and discusses approaches taken in these investigations. We also highlight important methodological considerations that may affect data interpretation.