Telomere length has been identified as a marker for biological, cardiovascular aging and cardiovascular events risk. Telomerase activity (TA) may be regarded as a potential target for vascular rejuvenation. Increased arterial stiffness, intima-media thickness (IMT), plaque presence (PP) are the main signs of arterial aging. But the origin of the association between cardiovascular events risk and telomere biology is still unknown.Objective:
The aim of this study was to determine the role of telomere biology (a largely inherited component) and conventional cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) (a largely acquired component) in vascular aging process.Design and method:
TL and TA were assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in 302 patients free from established cardiovascular diseases, mean age 53,71 ± 1,64 years. IMT and PP were determined by ultrasonography in both left and right carotid arteries. Arterial stiffness was appreciated by aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) measuring with the help of SphygmoCor (AtCor Medical). Smoking, arterial hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, high fasting glucose level were considered as CVRF.Results:
Table summarizes the baseline information on PWV, IMT, PP (as mean ± m) in groups with and without conventional conventional cardiovascular risk factors, with “short” and “long” telomeres, with “high” and “low” telomerase activity.