Shorter somatic telomere can be an increased risk for hospitalization

  • Toyoki MaedaEmail author
  • Takahiko Horiuchi
  • Naoki Makino


Somatic telomere DNA length is known to shorten with certain disease states and senescence. Furthermore, we have reported that the telomere length of a sub-healthy population also correlates with the blood data of laboratory tests. These facts suggest that patients with shorter telomere length tend to be hospitalized more easily than patients with longer telomere length. And such hospitalization tendencies can also be reflected in differences in clinical laboratory data. To address this issue, we evaluated and compared the telomere length and clinical laboratory data of outpatients and inpatients. In this study, 35 inpatients with chronic illness and 38 outpatients with one or more weeks without hospitalization experience were enrolled. Telomere length was shorter in hospitalized patients than outpatients. Inpatients and outpatients showed significant differences in some laboratory test results. Male outpatients showed higher values of fast blood sugar, HbA1c, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, C-reactive protein, red blood cell count, and hemoglobin. Among female outpatients, the values of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, albumin, creatine kinase, red blood cell count and hemoglobin were high. Of these, only albumin levels showed a positive correlation with telomere length in both sexes. Unexpectedly, all the other clinical data distinguishing outpatients and inpatients showed no significant association with telomere length. These items appeared to be related to hospital risk independently of TL. Having a shorter somatic telomere length appeared to be at a higher risk of hospitalization. This risk can be augmented by further complications such as deterioration of nutritional status and anemia. Maintaining sufficiently high nutritional status and erythropoietic potential may lead to avoidance of clinical events that require hospitalization.


Telomere Clinical blood data Hospitalization 



This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Japan (#15K08919).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Department of Internal MedicineKyushu University Beppu HospitalBeppuJapan

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