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      Impact of Snoring on Telomere Shortening in Adolescents with Atopic Diseases


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          Atopic diseases can impose a significant burden on children and adolescents. Telomere length is a cellular marker of aging reflecting the impact of cumulative stress exposure on individual health. Since elevated oxidative stress and inflammation burden induced by chronic atopy and snoring may impact telomere length, this study aimed to investigate whether snoring would moderate the relationship between atopic diseases and telomere length in early adolescence. We surveyed 354 adolescents and their parents. Parents reported the adolescents’ history of atopic diseases, recent snoring history as well as other family sociodemographic characteristics. Buccal swab samples were also collected from the adolescents for telomere length determination. Independent and combined effects of atopic diseases and snoring on telomere length were examined. Among the surveyed adolescents, 174 were reported by parents to have atopic diseases (20 had asthma, 145 had allergic rhinitis, 53 had eczema, and 25 had food allergy). Shorter TL was found in participants with a history of snoring and atopic diseases (β = −0.34, p = 0.002) particularly for asthma (β = −0.21, p = 0.007) and allergic rhinitis (β = −0.22, p = 0.023). Our findings suggest that snoring in atopic patients has important implications for accelerated telomere shortening. Proper management of atopic symptoms at an early age is important for the alleviation of long-term health consequences at the cellular level.

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          Most cited references 48

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          Oxidative stress shortens telomeres.

          Telomeres in most human cells shorten with each round of DNA replication, because they lack the enzyme telomerase. This is not, however, the only determinant of the rate of loss of telomeric DNA. Oxidative damage is repaired less well in telomeric DNA than elsewhere in the chromosome, and oxidative stress accelerates telomere loss, whereas antioxidants decelerate it. I suggest here that oxidative stress is an important modulator of telomere loss and that telomere-driven replicative senescence is primarily a stress response. This might have evolved to block the growth of cells that have been exposed to a high risk of mutation.
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            Telomere measurement by quantitative PCR.

             R. Cawthon (2002)
            It has long been presumed impossible to measure telomeres in vertebrate DNA by PCR amplification with oligonucleotide primers designed to hybridize to the TTAGGG and CCCTAA repeats, because only primer dimer-derived products are expected. Here we present a primer pair that eliminates this problem, allowing simple and rapid measurement of telomeres in a closed tube, fluorescence-based assay. This assay will facilitate investigations of the biology of telomeres and the roles they play in the molecular pathophysiology of diseases and aging.
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              Worldwide time trends in the prevalence of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in childhood: ISAAC Phases One and Three repeat multicountry cross-sectional surveys

              Data for trends in prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema over time are scarce. We repeated the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) at least 5 years after Phase One, to examine changes in the prevalence of symptoms of these disorders. For the ISAAC Phase Three study, between 2002 and 2003, we did a cross-sectional questionnaire survey of 193,404 children aged 6-7 years from 66 centres in 37 countries, and 304,679 children aged 13-14 years from 106 centres in 56 countries, chosen from a random sample of schools in a defined geographical area. Phase Three was completed a mean of 7 years after Phase One. Most centres showed a change in prevalence of 1 or more SE for at least one disorder, with increases being twice as common as decreases, and increases being more common in the 6-7 year age-group than in the 13-14 year age-group, and at most levels of mean prevalence. An exception was asthma symptoms in the older age-group, in which decreases were more common at high prevalence. For both age-groups, more centres showed increases in all three disorders more often than showing decreases, but most centres had mixed changes. The rise in prevalence of symptoms in many centres is concerning, but the absence of increases in prevalence of asthma symptoms for centres with existing high prevalence in the older age-group is reassuring. The divergent trends in prevalence of symptoms of allergic diseases form the basis for further research into the causes of such disorders.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Genes (Basel)
                Genes (Basel)
                18 May 2021
                May 2021
                : 12
                : 5
                [1 ]Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; keith-tung@ 123456connect.hku.hk (K.T.S.T.); rosawg@ 123456connect.hku.hk (R.S.W.); thwpaed@ 123456hku.hk (H.-W.T.); cgt560@ 123456hku.hk (G.T.C.); yutak722@ 123456hku.hk (D.C.); whswong@ 123456hku.hk (W.H.S.W.); marcoho@ 123456hku.hk (M.H.); gcfchan@ 123456hku.hk (G.C.F.C.)
                [2 ]Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; katechan@ 123456cuhk.edu.hk
                [3 ]Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; yamcheuksing@ 123456cuhk.edu.hk (J.C.Y.); clemtham@ 123456cuhk.edu.hk (C.C.T.)
                [4 ]Centre for Safe Medication Practice and Research, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; wongick@ 123456hku.hk
                [5 ]Research Department of Practice and Policy, UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: patricip@ 123456hku.hk ; Tel.: +852-2255-4090; Fax: +852-2855-1523
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                telomere length, adolescence, asthma, rhinitis, snoring


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