Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal:
Size of study:
Leukocyte telomere length was measured using qPCR from 75,309 individuals from the general population; they were then followed over the course of 23 years to assess hospitalizations and deaths attributed to infections. After adjusting for other known infection risk factors, short leukocyte telomere length was associated with increased risk of any infection as well as pneumonia. The authors hypothesize that leukocyte telomere length can be used as a proxy for immune competence.