DNA damage in circulating leukocytes measured with the comet assay may predict the risk of death

S. Bonassi*, M. Ceppi, P. Moller, A. Azqueta, M. Milic, N. Monica, G. Brunborg, R. Godschalk, G. Koppen, S.A.S. Langie, J.P. Teixeira, M. Bruzzone, J. Da Silva, D. Benedetti, D. Cavallo, C.L. Ursini, L. Giovannelli, S. Moretti, P. Riso, C. Del Bo'P. Russo, M. Dobrzynska, I.A. Goroshinskaya, E.I. Surikova, M. Staruchova, M. Barancokova, K. Volkovova, A. Kazimirova, B. Smolkova, B. Laffon, V. Valdiglesias, S. Pastor, R. Marcos, A. Hernandez, G. Gajski, B. Spremo-Potparevic, L. Zivkovic, E. Boutet-Robinet, H. Perdry, P. Lebailly, C.L. Perez, N. Basaran, Z. Nemeth, A. Safar, M. Dusinska, A. Collins, D. Anderson, V. Andrade, C.C. Pereira, hCOMET Project

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The comet assay or single cell gel electrophoresis, is the most common method used to measure strand breaks and a variety of other DNA lesions in human populations. To estimate the risk of overall mortality, mortality by cause, and cancer incidence associated to DNA damage, a cohort of 2,403 healthy individuals (25,978 person-years) screened in 16 laboratories using the comet assay between 1996 and 2016 was followed-up. Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated a worse overall survival in the medium and high tertile of DNA damage (p < 0.001). The effect of DNA damage on survival was modelled according to Cox proportional hazard regression model. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 1.42 (1.06-1.90) for overall mortality, and 1.94 (1.04-3.59) for diseases of the circulatory system in subjects with the highest tertile of DNA damage. The findings of this study provide epidemiological evidence encouraging the implementation of the comet assay in preventive strategies for non-communicable diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16793
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2021




Dive into the research topics of 'DNA damage in circulating leukocytes measured with the comet assay may predict the risk of death'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Author Correction: DNA damage in circulating leukocytes measured with the comet assay may predict the risk of death

    Bonassi, S., Ceppi, M., Moller, P., Azqueta, A., Milic, M., Neri, M., Brunborg, G., Godschalk, R., Koppen, G., Langie, S. A. S., Teixeira, J. P., Bruzzone, M., Da Silva, J., Benedetti, D., Cavallo, D., Ursini, C. L., Giovannelli, L., Moretti, S., Riso, P., Del Bo', C., & 27 othersRusso, P., Dobrzynska, M., Goroshinskaya, I. A., Surikova, E. I., Staruchova, M., Barancokova, M., Volkovova, K., Kazimirova, A., Smolkova, B., Laffon, B., Valdiglesias, V., Pastor, S., Marcos, R., Hernández, A., Gajski, G., Spremo-Potparevic, B., Zivkovic, L., Boutet-Robinet, E., Perdry, H., Lebailly, P., Perez, C. L., Basaran, N., Nemeth, Z., Safar, A., Dusinska, M., Collins, A. & hCOMET Project, 20 Sept 2021, In: Scientific Reports. 11, 1, 2 p., 19043.

    Research output: Contribution to journalErratum / corrigendum / retractionsAcademic

    Open Access

Cite this