Cellular aging reflected by leukocyte telomere length predicts advanced atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease risk

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal:
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology

Size of study:
800 adults, 45-84 years of age

ATL was measured by q-PCR in 800 women and men aged 45 to 84 years. The manifestation of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in ten years and the progression of atherosclerosis in five were carefully assessed in this study cohort. Participants with CVD events during follow-up (n=88) had significantly shorter telomeres (P <0.001). In multivariable Cox models, baseline ATL emerged as a significant and independent risk predictor for the composite CVD end point and its individual components (myocardial infarction and stroke); however, this was not the case for de novo stable angina and intermittent claudication. The top and bottom ATL quarters of ATL lengths when compared to their peers of the same chronological age differed in their CVD risk by a factor of 2.72, which is the risk ratio attributable to a 13.9-year difference in chronological age.

Link to study


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