Pessimism correlates with leukocyte telomere shortness and elevated interleukin-6 in post-menopausal women

A. O'Donovan, J. Lin, Firdaus Dhabhar, O. Wolkowitz, J. M. Tillie, E. Blackburn, E. Epel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The combination of less positive and more negative expectations for the future (i.e., lower optimism and higher pessimism) increases risk for disease and early mortality. We tested the possibility that expectancies might influence health outcomes by altering the rate of biological aging, specifically of the immune system (immunosenescence). However, no studies to date have examined associations between optimism or pessimism and indicators of immunosenescence such as leukocyte telomere length (TL) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. We investigated whether dispositional tendencies towards optimism and pessimism were associated with TL and IL-6 in a sample of 36 healthy post-menopausal women. Multiple regression analyses where optimism and pessimism were entered simultaneously, and chronological age and caregiver status were controlled, indicated that pessimism was independently associated with shorter TL (β = -.68, p = .001) and higher IL-6 concentrations (β = .50, p = .02). In contrast, optimism was not independently associated with either measure of immunosenescence. These findings suggest that dispositional pessimism may increase IL-6 and accelerate rate of telomere shortening. Mechanistic causal relationships between these parameters need to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-449
Number of pages4
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Telomere
Interleukin-6
Leukocytes
Telomere Shortening
Caregivers
Pessimism
Immune System
Regression Analysis
Optimism
Mortality
Health
Immunosenescence

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Interleukin-6
  • Optimism
  • Pessimism
  • Telomere length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems

Cite this

Pessimism correlates with leukocyte telomere shortness and elevated interleukin-6 in post-menopausal women. / O'Donovan, A.; Lin, J.; Dhabhar, Firdaus; Wolkowitz, O.; Tillie, J. M.; Blackburn, E.; Epel, E.

In: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Vol. 23, No. 4, 01.05.2009, p. 446-449.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

O'Donovan, A. ; Lin, J. ; Dhabhar, Firdaus ; Wolkowitz, O. ; Tillie, J. M. ; Blackburn, E. ; Epel, E. / Pessimism correlates with leukocyte telomere shortness and elevated interleukin-6 in post-menopausal women. In: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2009 ; Vol. 23, No. 4. pp. 446-449.
@article{c6649b89bfbb42e5badfd14857b501cd,
title = "Pessimism correlates with leukocyte telomere shortness and elevated interleukin-6 in post-menopausal women",
abstract = "The combination of less positive and more negative expectations for the future (i.e., lower optimism and higher pessimism) increases risk for disease and early mortality. We tested the possibility that expectancies might influence health outcomes by altering the rate of biological aging, specifically of the immune system (immunosenescence). However, no studies to date have examined associations between optimism or pessimism and indicators of immunosenescence such as leukocyte telomere length (TL) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. We investigated whether dispositional tendencies towards optimism and pessimism were associated with TL and IL-6 in a sample of 36 healthy post-menopausal women. Multiple regression analyses where optimism and pessimism were entered simultaneously, and chronological age and caregiver status were controlled, indicated that pessimism was independently associated with shorter TL (β = -.68, p = .001) and higher IL-6 concentrations (β = .50, p = .02). In contrast, optimism was not independently associated with either measure of immunosenescence. These findings suggest that dispositional pessimism may increase IL-6 and accelerate rate of telomere shortening. Mechanistic causal relationships between these parameters need to be investigated.",
keywords = "Aging, Interleukin-6, Optimism, Pessimism, Telomere length",
author = "A. O'Donovan and J. Lin and Firdaus Dhabhar and O. Wolkowitz and Tillie, {J. M.} and E. Blackburn and E. Epel",
year = "2009",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.bbi.2008.11.006",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "23",
pages = "446--449",
journal = "Brain, Behavior, and Immunity",
issn = "0889-1591",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Pessimism correlates with leukocyte telomere shortness and elevated interleukin-6 in post-menopausal women

AU - O'Donovan, A.

AU - Lin, J.

AU - Dhabhar, Firdaus

AU - Wolkowitz, O.

AU - Tillie, J. M.

AU - Blackburn, E.

AU - Epel, E.

PY - 2009/5/1

Y1 - 2009/5/1

N2 - The combination of less positive and more negative expectations for the future (i.e., lower optimism and higher pessimism) increases risk for disease and early mortality. We tested the possibility that expectancies might influence health outcomes by altering the rate of biological aging, specifically of the immune system (immunosenescence). However, no studies to date have examined associations between optimism or pessimism and indicators of immunosenescence such as leukocyte telomere length (TL) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. We investigated whether dispositional tendencies towards optimism and pessimism were associated with TL and IL-6 in a sample of 36 healthy post-menopausal women. Multiple regression analyses where optimism and pessimism were entered simultaneously, and chronological age and caregiver status were controlled, indicated that pessimism was independently associated with shorter TL (β = -.68, p = .001) and higher IL-6 concentrations (β = .50, p = .02). In contrast, optimism was not independently associated with either measure of immunosenescence. These findings suggest that dispositional pessimism may increase IL-6 and accelerate rate of telomere shortening. Mechanistic causal relationships between these parameters need to be investigated.

AB - The combination of less positive and more negative expectations for the future (i.e., lower optimism and higher pessimism) increases risk for disease and early mortality. We tested the possibility that expectancies might influence health outcomes by altering the rate of biological aging, specifically of the immune system (immunosenescence). However, no studies to date have examined associations between optimism or pessimism and indicators of immunosenescence such as leukocyte telomere length (TL) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. We investigated whether dispositional tendencies towards optimism and pessimism were associated with TL and IL-6 in a sample of 36 healthy post-menopausal women. Multiple regression analyses where optimism and pessimism were entered simultaneously, and chronological age and caregiver status were controlled, indicated that pessimism was independently associated with shorter TL (β = -.68, p = .001) and higher IL-6 concentrations (β = .50, p = .02). In contrast, optimism was not independently associated with either measure of immunosenescence. These findings suggest that dispositional pessimism may increase IL-6 and accelerate rate of telomere shortening. Mechanistic causal relationships between these parameters need to be investigated.

KW - Aging

KW - Interleukin-6

KW - Optimism

KW - Pessimism

KW - Telomere length

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=63249093574&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=63249093574&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.bbi.2008.11.006

DO - 10.1016/j.bbi.2008.11.006

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 446

EP - 449

JO - Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

JF - Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

SN - 0889-1591

IS - 4

ER -