Genome-wide association study of telomere length among South Asians identifies a second RTEL1 association signal

Telomeres are DNA-protein complexes that protect chromosome ends. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a potential biomarker of aging and risk for age-related disease. Prior genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified 10 inherited genetic variants that influence LTL in populations of European ancestry. However, there is evidence of considerable population differences in LTL. In this GWA study of LTL among Bangladeshi individuals, we observe two association signals observed in prior GWA studies (i.e., TERC and TERT).  We also find evidence for a novel association in the RTEL1 region, which is distinct from the prior association reported in this region. (By Dayana A. Delgado, )