Human telomere biology: Pitfalls of moving from the laboratory to epidemiology

Abraham Aviv, Ana M. Valdes, Tim D. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


Remarkable progress has been made during the last 2 decades in understanding telomere biology at the molecular and cellular levels. Clinical epidemiology research of human telomeres, in contrast, is a discipline just coming into its own. The most important observation in studying human telomere biology is that telomere length is highly variable among humans. Here we explain some of the reasons for this variability and propose several principles that should be considered in conducting epidemiological telomere research. Ignoring these principles could lead to misleading conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1424-1429
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


  • Ageing
  • Leukocyte
  • Lymphocytes
  • Telomere


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