Ever since telomere length was first shown to strongly correlate with the longevity of cells, it has also been speculated that this would also hold true for an organism. In a recent study in the Journal of Gerontology, a group of scientists investigated whether telomere length is associated with cardiovascular or cancer disease progression and the survival of elderly men (Journal of Gerontology A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2010 Oct 1). In the Zutphen Elderly Study, which this article reports, 203 men with a mean age of 78 were followed for 7 years. During this period, white blood cells were obtained and measured for telomere length. The results indicated that telomeres shorten by an average of 40.2 base pairs/ year. More importantly, it was observed that longer baseline telomere lengths did not correlate with the mortality progression of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, or all-cause mortality.