The correlation between peripheral leukocyte telomere length and indicators of cardiovascular aging

Heart Lung Circ. 2014 Sep;23(9):883-90. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2013.12.016. Epub 2014 Jan 31.


Objectives: To investigate the relationship between telomere length in peripheral blood white cells and cardiovascular function in a healthy, aging Han Chinese population.

Methods: In 2012, peripheral blood leukocytes were obtained from 139 healthy individuals in Beijing, China, and telomere restriction fragment (TRF) length was assayed using a digoxigenin-labeled hybridization probe in Southern blot assays. Indicators of cardiovascular function were also evaluated, including electrocardiograms (ECG), (RR, P, PR, QRS, ST and T intervals); blood pressure (BP), (SBP, DBP, PP, PPI); cardiovascular ultrasound (left ventricular ejection fraction, LVEF); mitral early and late diastolic peak flow velocity (MVE and MVA); and lipid indices (TC, TG, HDL, LDL, LCI). The relationships of these cardiovascular indictors to telomere length were evaluated.

Results: No correlations were found between telomere length and ECG, BP or lipid indices even after adjustment for age. Correlations were found between TFR length and some cardiovascular ultrasound indictors (D, MVEA, MVEDT, MVES, MVEL, MVEI, IMT), but these were not seen after adjusting for age.

Conclusions: We did not find that leukocyte TFR length was associated with cardiovascular ultrasound indictors, ECG, BP, or lipid indices in this population of healthy Han Chinese individuals. Telomere length may serve as a genetic factor in biological aging.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Cardiovascular function; Cardiovascular ultrasound.; Electrocardiogram; Telomere length.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Asian People / genetics*
  • Blood Pressure
  • China
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / cytology*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve / physiopathology
  • Stroke Volume
  • Telomere Shortening*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol