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Oxidative stress can be induced by increased concentrations of iron in the body and consequently can cause shortening of telomeres. Telomeres, called mitotic clocks, are non-coding fragments at the end of chromosomes. During the replication of genetic material they are shortened, playing the role of ageing biomarkers in eukaryotes. In human endothelial cells, oxidative stress causes a decrease in telomerase activity. Shortening of chromosomes in telomeric parts was found in patients with primary hemochromatosis and in patients taking supplements containing iron. Increased level of transferrin saturation is associated with the presence of shorter telomeres in the chromosomes of leukocytes. The relationship between iron status and telomere length is still not fully understood.