Common variants near TERC are associated with mean telomere length

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We conducted genome-wide association analyses of mean leukocyte telomere length in 2,917 individuals, with follow-up replication in 9,492 individuals. We identified an association with telomere length on 3q26 (rs12696304, combined P = 3.72 x 10(-14)) at a locus that includes TERC, which encodes the telomerase RNA component. Each copy of the minor allele of rs12696304 was associated with an approximately 75-base-pair reduction in mean telomere length, equivalent to approximately 3.6 years of age-related telomere-length attrition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-9
Number of pages3
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Age Factors
  • Aging/genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3
  • Cohort Studies
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/physiology
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • RNA/genetics
  • Telomerase/genetics
  • Telomere/genetics
  • Time Factors


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