- Widely-accepted claims about telomeres predicting mortality are contradicted by some quality meta-analyses and large-scale population-based studies.
- Predictions of future onset of chronic illnesses from telomere length have not been reproducible in meta-analyses and large-scale population-based studies.
- Even when found, the associations in large scale, quality studies between telomere length and outcomes like disease onset and mortality are quite modest.
- Associations claimed between exposure to stress and telomere length have not been reproducible in large scale studies.
- Cross-sectional associations of telomere length are often not borne out in prospective longitudinal studies.
- Telomere length is reliably associated with age, sex, and race. The association between telomere length and clinical variables is reduced or disappears when age is statistically controlled for in large scale studies. Older people have shorter telomeres than younger people, and males have shorter telomeres than females. This corresponds to life expectancy. But wait, whites have shorter telomeres than nonwhites. So, they die earlier? No, of course not, and this robust association needs to be ignored if anyone wants to claim consistency of findings about telomere length and aging.