On cross-sectional associations of leukocyte telomere length with cardiac systolic, diastolic and vascular function: the Asklepios study

PLoS One. 2014 Dec 15;9(12):e115071. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115071. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Background: Systemic telomere length has been associated with measures of diastolic function, vascular stiffness and left ventricular mass mainly in smaller, patient-specific settings and not in a general population. In this study we describe the applicability of these findings in a large, representative population.

Methods and results: Peripheral blood leukocyte telomere length (PBL TL) was measured using telomere restriction fragment analysis in the young to middle-aged (>2500 volunteers, ∼35 to 55 years old) Asklepios study population, free from overt cardiovascular disease. Subjects underwent extensive echocardiographic, hemodynamic and biochemical phenotyping. After adjusting for relevant confounders (age, sex, systolic blood pressure, heart rate, body mass index and use of antihypertensive drugs) we found no associations between PBL TL and left ventricular mass index (P = 0.943), ejection fraction (P = 0.933), peak systolic septal annular motion (P = 0.238), pulse wave velocity (P = 0.971) or pulse pressure (P = 0.999). In contrast, our data showed positive associations between PBL TL and parameters of LV filling: the transmitral flow early (E) to late (A) velocity ratio (E/A-ratio; P<0.001), the ratio of early (e') to late (a') mitral annular velocities (e'/a'-ratio; P = 0.012) and isovolumic relaxation time (P = 0.015). Interestingly, these associations were stronger in women than in men and were driven by associations between PBL TL and the late diastolic components (A and a').

Conclusions: In a generally healthy, young to middle-aged population, PBL TL is not related to LV mass or systolic function, but might be associated with an altered LV filling pattern, especially in women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • Telomere / metabolism*
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*

Grant support

The Asklepios Study is supported by Research Foundation Flanders (FWO, http://www.fwo.be/en/) research grants G.0427.03 and G.0838.10N. SD is supported by the agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT, http://www.iwt.be/english/welcome) grant SB101371. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.