Telomere length and cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy: The LIFE study
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
Short telomeres are associated with aging and age-related diseases. Our aim was to determine whether short leukocyte telomere length is associated with risk factors and cardiovascular diseases in a high-risk hypertensive population. We measured leukocyte telomere lengths at recruitment in 1271 subjects with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) participating in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study. At baseline, short mean telomere length was associated with coronary artery disease in males (odds ratio (OR) 0.61, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39-0.95), and transient ischemic attack in females (OR 0.62 95% CI 0.39-0.99). Proportion of short telomeres (shorter than 5 kb) was associated with Framingham risk score (r=0.07, P<0.05), cerebrovascular disease (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.01-1.15) and type 2 diabetes in men (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.02-1.11). During follow-up, proportion of short telomeres was associated with combined cardiovascular mortality, stroke or angina pectoris (hazard ratio 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.07). Telomere length was not associated with smoking, body mass index, pulse pressure or self-reported use of alcohol. Our data suggest that reduced leukocyte telomere length is associated with cardiovascular risk factors and diseases as well as type 2 diabetes, and is a predictor of cardiovascular disease in elderly patients with hypertension and LVH.