Dietary Intake as a Stress Mediator of Accelerated Aging and Mortality
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the association between dietary intake and telomere length in a large, nationally representative sample and to further investigate the impact of dietary factors on biomarkers of inflammation and premature mortality in ethnic/racial minority groups and the military population. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a complex, multistage, probability sample design, was used for all the studies. Nested, multivariable linear, logistic, and proportional hazards regression models were used to examine associations between dietary intake, military service, and covariates for telomere length, inflammation, and all-cause mortality. For all studies, the results were reported as regression coefficients, 95% confidence intervals (CI), and p-values. Statistical significance was set at α ≤ 0.05. All analyses were conducted using survey procedures to account for population weighting and complex survey design. The IBM® SPSS Statistics PremiumGrad Pack® (versions 24.0 and 27.0, IBM, Armonk, NY, USA) was used for statistical analyses. Significant findings include: Study 1.) Adults who consumed greater than 11% of total calories from saturated fat had approximately 4 years of accelerated aging. Adults who were obese had an estimated 5.3 years of increased cellular aging.; Study 2.) Previously deployed military service members had a higher prevalence of clinically elevated high sensitivity-C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP) levels than civilians. Also, dietary factors did not attenuate the association between changes in hs-CRP levels and veteran status.; Study 3.) Underconsumption of protein and overconsumption of saturated fat was associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality, independent of other factors.