Longitudinal Association of Telomere Attrition with the Effects of Antihypertensive Treatment and Blood Pressure Lowering

Aging Dis. 2020 May 9;11(3):494-508. doi: 10.14336/AD.2019.0721. eCollection 2020 May.


Leukocytes telomere length has been associated with hypertension, but, whether longitudinal telomeres change could serve as a useful predictive tool in hypertension remains uncertain. This study aimed to examine the longitudinal trajectory of leukocytes telomere length in a population-based prospective study of 1,108 individuals with hypertension. Leukocytes telomere length were measured at baseline and again after a median 2.2 (range 1.5-2.4) years of follow-up. Age as an independent predictor was inversely associated with baseline telomeres and follow-up telomeres. Annual telomere attrition rate was calculated as (follow-up telomeres-baseline telomeres)/follow-up years, and participants were categorized into the shorten and the lengthen groups. Results showed that telomere lengthening was significantly correlated with decreased systolic blood pressure (SBP) (β=-3.28; P=0.02) and pulse pressure (PP) (β=-2.53; P=0.02), and the differences were respectively -3.3 mmHg (95%CI, -6.2 to -0.3; P=0.03) in ∆SBP and -2.4 mmHg (95%CI, -4.9 to -0.1; P=0.04) in ∆PP between two groups after adjustment for vascular risk factors and baseline blood pressures. When stratified by age and gender, the correlations were observed in women and patients ≤60 years. Furthermore, among patients using calcium channel blocker (CCB) and angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), those with telomeres lengthening showed a significantly lower level of ∆SBP and ∆PP. There was no correlation between telomere attrition and incidence of cardiovascular events. Our data indicated that increased telomere length of leukocytes was associated with decreased SBP and PP, particularly for patients who received CCB and ARB, supporting that telomere attrition may provide new sight in clinical intervention for hypertension.

Keywords: antihypertensive therapy; blood pressure lowering; leukocytes telomere length; telomere attrition.