Open Access
Telomere length and its associations with oxidized-LDL, carotid artery distensibility and smoking
Tim S Nawrot1,Jan A Staessen1,Paul Holvoet1,Harry A Struijker-Boudier1,Paul Schiffers1,Luc M Van Bortel1,Robert H Fagard1,Jeffrey P Gardner1,Masayuki Kimura1,Abraham Aviv1
Department of Molecular and Cardiovascular Research, Laboratory of Hypertension, University of Leuven, Study Coordinating Centre, Leuven, Belgium
DOI: 10.2741/E176 Volume 2 Issue 3, pp.1164-1168
Published: 01 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Telomeres and telomerase in cardiovascular disease)

Oxidative stress is a key factor driving the aging of cells and arteries. Studies suggest that white blood cell (WBC) telomere length is an index of systemic aging. We, therefore, investigated the association between WBC telomere length and oxidized-LDL, and vascular aging, expressed by the distensibility of the carotid artery. We studied a random population sample of 216 non-smokers and 89, smokers. In all subjects, age and gender- adjusted telomere length was inversely correlated with plasma oxidized-LDL (regression coefficient = -0.656 kb/mg/dL; p=0.0006). Independent of gender, age and mean blood pressure, carotid distensibility increased with telomere length (2.33+/- 1.18 10-3/kPa/kb; p=0.05) but decreased with higher plasma levels of oxidized LDL (-10.7+/- 3.91 10-3/kPa/ mg/dL; p=0.006). Adjusted for gender and age, smokers' telomere length was shorter (6.72 vs 6.91 kb; p=0.014) and plasma oxidized-LDL level higher (0.52 vs 0.46 mg/dL; p=0.03) than in non-smokers. Higher level of oxidized-LDL, is associated with shorter WBC telomeres and increased stiffness of the carotid artery. Smoking is marked by increased oxidative stress in concert with shortened WBC telomere length.

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Tim S Nawrot, Jan A Staessen, Paul Holvoet, Harry A Struijker-Boudier, Paul Schiffers, Luc M Van Bortel, Robert H Fagard, Jeffrey P Gardner, Masayuki Kimura, Abraham Aviv. Telomere length and its associations with oxidized-LDL, carotid artery distensibility and smoking. Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite. 2010. 2(3); 1164-1168.