Systemic telomere length and preclinical atherosclerosis: the Asklepios Study

T. De Meyer, E. R. Rietzschel, M. L. De Buyzere, M. R. Langlois, D. De Bacquer, P. Segers, P. Van Damme, G. G. De Backer, P. Van Oostveldt, W. Van Criekinge, T. C. Gillebert, S. Bekaert
2009 European Heart Journal  
Aims Peripheral blood leucocyte (PBL) telomere length (TL) is a systemic ageing biomarker and has been proposed to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed at providing an explanation for this association by the evaluation of the biomarker value of PBL-TL in preclinical atherosclerosis. Methods and results Peripheral blood leucocyte telomere length was assessed by telomere restriction fragment analysis in 2509 volunteers free from established CVD, aged approximately
more » ... aged approximately 35-55 years old, from the Asklepios Study cohort. Intimamedia thickness (IMT) and plaque presence were determined by ultrasonography in both left and right carotid and femoral arteries. Peripheral blood leucocyte telomere length was not a significant independent determinant of IMT (P . 0.3) or plaque presence (P . 0.05), in either artery or either sex. In women but not in men, PBL-TL was a weak determinant of combined (carotid or femoral) plaque presence, adjusted for other risk factors (women: P ¼ 0.03, men: P . 0.4). However, even in women presenting plaques, PBL-TL was still longer than in men. Conclusion Since systemic TL is not a substantial underlying determinant of preclinical atherosclerosis, the association between CVD and TL cannot be explained by the fact that subjects with shorter inherited TL are predisposed to atherosclerosis. ---
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehp324 pmid:19687155 fatcat:kthfx4fyrjgfvhjgjmz3av3cki