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Association of mitochondrial DNA copy number with self-rated health status

Authors Takahashi PY, Jenkins GD, Welkie BP, McDonnell SK, Evans JM, Cerhan JR, Olson JE, Thibodeau SN, Cicek MS, Ryu E

Received 8 March 2018

Accepted for publication 16 May 2018

Published 25 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 121—127

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TACG.S167640

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Martin H. Maurer


Paul Y Takahashi,1 Gregory D Jenkins,2 Benjamin P Welkie,2 Shannon K McDonnell,2 Jared M Evans,2 James R Cerhan,2 Janet E Olson,2 Stephen N Thibodeau,3 Mine S Cicek,3 Euijung Ryu2

1Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, 2Department of Health Sciences Research, 3Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Purpose: In aging adults, mitochondrial dysfunction may be an important contributor. We evaluated the association between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number, which is a biomarker for mitochondrial function, and self-rated health status.
Patients and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients enrolled within the Mayo Clinic Biobank. We utilized the questionnaire and sequence data from 944 patients. We examined the association between mtDNA copy number and self-rated health status with 3 collapsed categories for the latter variable (excellent/very good, good, and fair/poor). For analysis, we used proportional odds models after log-transforming mtDNA copy number, and we adjusted for age and sex.
Results: We found the median age at enrollment was 61 years (25th–75th percentile: 51–71), and 64% reported excellent or very good health, 31% reported good health, and 6% reported fair/poor health. Overall, the median mtDNA copy number was 88.9 (25th–75th percentile: 77.6–101.1). Higher mtDNA copy number was found for subjects reporting better self-rated health status after adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidity burden (OR =2.3 [95% CI: 1.2–4.5] for having better self-rated health for a one-unit increase in log-transformed mtDNA copy number).
Conclusion: We found that a higher mtDNA copy number is associated with better self-rated health status after adjustment for age, sex, and comorbidity burden. The current study implies that mtDNA copy number may serve as a biomarker for self-reported health. Further studies, potentially including cohort studies, may be required.

Keywords: mitochondrial DNA copy number, self-rated health, personalized medicine

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