Individuals with type 2 diabetes show shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) compared to people without diabetes. Reduced LTL is associated with increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in healthy subjects. The aim of the study is to assess whether LTL also correlates with IMT in patients with diabetes.
In a cohort of 104 subjects with type 2 diabetes and atherogenic dyslipidemia, we assessed anthropometric, hemodynamic and metabolic parameters. Common carotid IMT was expressed as the maximum IMT. LTL was assessed by a specific real-time PCR reaction.
At univariate analysis, IMT values were positively correlated with age (p < 0.001), previous history of cardiovascular events (p < 0.005), fasting plasma glucose (p < 0.01), HbA1c (p < 0.05) and negatively correlated with LTL (p < 0.05). In a multivariate model, age (p < 0.001) and LTL (p < 0.05) were the only independent predictors of maximum IMT, with an adjusted R 2 of 0.22.
LTL is an independent predictor of subclinical atherosclerosis pointing to a role of LTL as an early marker of vascular burden and cardiovascular disease also in type 2 diabetes.
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This paper has been supported by the DiAL-ER/ADSL research grant from the Regional Health trust-University Program, Emilia-Romagna, Italy and by Local Funds for research “FIL” from the University of Parma of ADC.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Spigoni, V., Aldigeri, R., Picconi, A. et al. Telomere length is independently associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in subjects with type 2 diabetes: a cross-sectional study. Acta Diabetol 53, 661–667 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00592-016-0857-x
- Telomere length
- Intima-media thickness
- Type 2 diabetes