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Articles by J Woo
Total Records ( 3 ) for J Woo
  J Woo , E. W. C Suen , J. C. S Leung , N. L. S Tang and S. Ebrahim

Background: previous studies examining the relationship between socioeconomic status and telomere length showed conflicting results, one study finding shorter telomere length in subjects with lower socioeconomic status and one showing no relationship.

Design: cross-sectional study.

Setting: community-living elderly Chinese in Hong Kong.

Objective: this study examines the relationship between self-rated social economic status and telomere length in Hong Kong Chinese men and women aged 65 years and over living in the community.

Subjects and method: information was collected from 958 men and 978 women regarding possible confounding factors such as the presence of chronic diseases, smoking, physical activity level, dietary intake and body mass index. Telomere length was measured by quantitative PCR.

Result: in men only, after adjustment for age and other confounding factors, a higher ranking in community standing was associated with shorter telomere length.

Conclusion: men with higher self-rated socioeconomic status have shorter telomeres, possibly mediated through psychosocial rather than lifestyle factors or the presence of chronic disease. There may be cultural ethnic and age-related differences in social determinants of health.

  J Woo , N. L. S Tang , E Suen and J. Leung

Telomere shortening has been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis directly or through influencing cardiovascular risk factors. We examined telomere length (TL) and change in ankle-brachial index (ABI) over 5 years in a Chinese population aged 65 years and older living in the community. Telomere length was determined using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method in 976 men and 1030 women. Ankle-brachial index was measured using Doppler ultrasound. Analysis of covariance was used to examine the relationship between quartiles of TL and baseline ABI values as well as percentage change in ABI, adjusting for confounders. Women had longer TL and lower ABI values compared with men, and there was a significant trend for an inverse association between TL and percentage decline in ABI after adjustment for confounders. No significant association was observed in men. The findings support the association between TL and markers of atherosclerosis in older women but not men.

  J Jiang , N. L. S Tang , C Ohlsson , A. L Eriksson , L Vandenput , C Liao , X Wang , F. W. K Chan , A Kwok , E Orwoll , T. C. Y Kwok , J Woo and P. C. Leung

Results of recent studies have demonstrated that genetic variants of the enzyme steroid 5 reductase type II (SRD5A2) are associated with serum concentrations of major androgen metabolites such as conjugates of androstane-3,17β-diol-glucuronide (3-diol-G). However, this association was not consistently found among different ethnic groups. Thus, we aimed to determine whether the association with SRD5A2 genetic variations exists in a cohort of healthy Chinese elderly men, by examining 2 metabolite conjugates: androstane-3,l7β-diol-3-glucuronide (3-diol-3G) and androstane-3,17β-diol-17-glucuronide (3-diol-17G).


We used GC-MS and LC-MS to measure serum sex steroid concentrations, including testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, and 3-diol-3G and 3-diol-17G in 1182 Chinese elderly men age 65 and older. Genotyping of the 3 SRD5A2 tagSNPs [rs3731586, rs12470143, and rs523349 (V89L)] was performed by using melting-temperature–shift allele-specific PCR.


The well-described SRD5A2 missense variant rs523349 (V89L) was modestly associated with the 3-diol-17G concentration (P = 0.040). On the other hand, SNP rs12470143 was found to be significantly correlated with 3-diol-3G concentration (P = 0.021). Results of haplotype analysis suggested that the presence of an A-C-G haplotype leads to an increased 3-diol-3G concentration, a finding consistent with results of single SNP analysis.


The genetic variation of SRD5A2 is associated with circulating 3-diol-3G and 3-diol-17G concentrations in Chinese elderly men. In addition, we showed that SRD5A2 haplotypic association, rather than a single SNP alone, might be a better predictor of the 3-diol-G concentration. Thus, the effect of either the haplotype itself or of other ungenotyped SNPs in linkage disequilibrium with the haplotype is responsible for the interindividual variation of 3-diol-G.

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