Abstract 11930: Telomere Length as a Predictor of Longevity in a General Cardiovascular Population
BACKGROUND: Telomere length (TL) has been proposed as a novel predictor of longevity, and TL testing is being developed for commercial application. We tested whether TL predicts longevity in a general cardiovascular (CV) population referred for coronary angiography.
METHODS: Blood from consenting patients (N=2138) was drawn at angiography, and DNA was extracted from leukocytes and verified to be intact, high molecular weight by agarose gel electrophoresis. TL was measured in triplicate by monochrome (SYBR Green I) multiplex quantitative PCR (Bio-Rad CFX384 Detection System) and normalized to a quantitatively-measured, single-copy gene (albumin) in the same reaction. Patient information was extracted from Intermountain Healthcare's electronic records database, and survival status was verified by a national death index. During a median 9.0 (IQR 2.5) yr follow-up, 662 (31%) died. Cox regressions were used to assess associations with mortality.
RESULTS: Patient age averaged 63.4 y, 65% were male, and 65.8% had obstructive CAD. TL modestly correlated with age (r=-0.25, p<0.0001). Greater TL was univariably associated with survival: hazard ratio (HR) for mortality=0.47 per ln-TL-unit (95% CI 0.37-0.59), Wald χ2 39.4, p<0.0001. In multivariable (MV) regression, adjusting for 20 other demographic, clinical, therapeutic, and angiographic variables (model χ2 499), age emerged as the dominant predictor (HR=1.052 y, CI 1.04-1.06, χ2 143, p=6.5x 10-33) and substantially attenuated but did not eliminate the contribution of TL (HR=0.73, CI=0.57-0.94, χ2 6.4, p=0.014); the MV contribution of TL was less than 8 but more than 12 other variables (Table). TL did not predict MI.
CONCLUSION: In a general CV population, TL is a strong univariable predictor of survival. Age, which modestly correlates with TL, attenuates but does not eliminate its predictive value. The role of TL as a novel risk predictor in the general CV population deserves further investigation.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.