Telomere Length and Pediatric Obesity: A Review
María Cristina Azcona-Sanjulian 1 2
Obesity is a chronic disease, which needs to be early detected early and treated in order prevent its complications. Changes in telomere length (TL) have been associated with obesity and its complications, such as diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.
Therefore, we conducted a systematic review to summarize results of studies that have measured TL in children and adolescents with obesity. Fourteen studies aiming to assess TL in pediatric patients with either obesity or who were overweight were included in this review.
In conclusion, obesity and adiposity parameters are negatively associated with TL. Shorter telomeres are observed in children with obesity compared with their lean counterparts. Factors involved in obesity etiology, such as diet and physical activity, may contribute to maintenance of TL integrity. In the long term, TL change could be used as a biomarker to predict response to obesity treatment.