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The more moles a person has, the more likely their DNA has properties that help slow aging, according to a U.K. study of 1,800 twins.
People with more than 100 moles had longer telomeres than people with fewer than 25 moles, the study found. Telomeres -- bundles of DNA found at the end of chromosomes in all cells -- help keep chromosome ends from fraying and sticking to one another, BBC News reported.
Telomeres shorten as people age. The difference in telomere length between study volunteers with more than 100 moles and those with fewer than 25 moles was equivalent to six to seven years of aging, said the study, which appears in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.
"The results of this study are very exciting as they show, for the first time, that moley people who have a slightly increased risk of melanoma may, on the other hand, have the benefit of a reduce rate of aging," said lead researcher Dr. Veronique Bataille of King's College London, BBC News reported.
"This could imply susceptibility to fewer age-related diseases, such as heart disease or osteoporosis, for example. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings," Bataille said.
HealthDay News, July 12, 2007