Relationship between average leucocyte telomere length and the presence or severity of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in black Africans

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AimsA reduced average leucocyte telomere length is associated with ischaemic heart failure. Whether this relationship represents a cause or consequence of heart failure or is attributed to associated risk factors and coronary artery disease is uncertain. We evaluated if average leucocyte telomere length is associated with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC) or its severity.Methods and resultsWe compared average leucocyte telomere length in 223 patients with heart failure due to IDC and 227 healthy controls of black African ancestry. We also evaluated the relationship between average leucocyte telomere length and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). LVEF was determined using echocardiography and radionuclide multiple-gated acquisition (MUGA) scan in patients with IDC. Relative leucocyte telomere length (T/S) was measured using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. Log T/S was negatively correlated with age in patients with IDC (P = 0.0007) and in controls (P = 0.030), and with alcohol consumption (P = 0.032) and regular smoking (P = 0.021) in patients with IDC. Log T/S did not differ between IDC and control groups either before (P = 0.11) or after (IDC = 0.071 ± 0.187, control = 0.071 ± 0.187, P = 0.99) adjustments for confounders. Log T/S was not associated with echocardiographic (P = 0.47) or MUGA (P = 0.99) LVEF or LV end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD) (P = 0.34) in patients with IDC. With adjustments for age, sex, alcohol consumption, and smoking, log T/S was similarly not associated with echocardiographic (P = 0.60) or MUGA (P = 0.91) LVEF or LVEDD (P = 0.53) in patients with IDC.ConclusionsAverage relative leucocyte telomere length is not associated with IDC or its severity in groups of black African ancestry.

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