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Functional capacity and telomere length in older women

Telomeres are spezialized chromatin structures located at the chromosomal ends. They protect chromosome structure and shorten every cell cycle. Telomere length has been suggested as a potential marker of biological age. This research project investigates the association between leukocyte telomere length and physical functional capacity and its’ determinants among older women. In addition, the relationship between telomere length and the change in physical functional capacity and incidence in inactivity-related cardiovascular diseases over 3 and 11 years will be investigated. The study utilizes the existing data resource The Finnish Twin Study on Aging (FITSA) and follow-up measurements that will be collected at 2011. The database includes comprehensive information on physical functional capacity and its’ determinants measured by validated laboratory assessments and self-reports. This three year post doc study will be carried out at the Gerontology Research Centre at University of Jyväskylä, Finland as well as at the Biomedicum-Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. The project will provide new results and insights to the understanding of the old age disablement process.


Academy of Finland

Principal investigator

Post Doc Researcher Elina Sillanpää, PhD, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, elina.sillanpaa[at]

Other group members

Gerontology Research Center: Professor Sarianna Sipilä, Professor Taina Rantanen, Post Doc Researcher Anne Viljanen

Biomedicum-Helsinki, University of Helsinki: Academy Researcher Iiris Hovatta

National Institute for Health and Welfare, University of Helsinki: Academy Professor Jaakko Kaprio

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