Main Article Content
Background: Telomere, the biological chronometer, has been found to be influenced by different parameters which are reprogrammed during fetal life. This study was designed to find out influence of education on relative telomere length (RTL) of the maternal and new born and to detect improvement in the genetic remodeling during the fetal life between low and high educational levels of mother.
Methods: Pregnant females (18-37 years) and their newborns (n=250) were recruited from Karachi hospitals. In this cross-sectional study RTL (maternal and cord) was calculated by Quantitative real-time PCR. Statistical analysis used were chi square tests and Mann Whitney U test for variables with two categories and then Kruskal Wallis for variables with more than two categories to examine mean difference between relative telomere length(RTL) and maternal education. The relationship between predictor variable (education) and RTL was done by linear regression.
Results: A significant association of education and RTL revealed shorter mean maternal RTL (base pair(bp)) 6380±1128 among females with low education and longer 6553±945 in high education females respectively (p=0.071) (B= 0.009 p = >0.05). Similarly, cord RTL were shorter 6600±1218 in low and longer 7154±1585 in high education group (p=0.007) (B= 0.184 p = <0.05) at 95% confidence level. It was also found that newborn among high education with upper middle Socioeconomic status (SES) have significantly longest RTL 7262±1804 (p =<0.05).
Conclusion: Overall longer newborn RTL than mothers were observed among different levels of education in targeted population of Karachi where higher education have a shielding effect on telomere remodeling during the fetal development.