Telomere length is independently associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in subjects with type 2 diabetes: a cross-sectional study

Abstract

Aims

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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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Acknowledgments

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.

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Correspondence to Alessandra Dei Cas.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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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.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Managed by Massimo Porta.

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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

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Keywords

  • Telomere length
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Aging