Telomere length and its associations with oxidized-LDL, carotid artery distensibility and smoking

Tim S. Nawrot, Jan A Staessen, Paul Holvoet, Harry A Struijker-Boudier, Paul Schiffers, Luc M Van Bortel, Robert H Fagard, Jeffrey P Gardner, Masayuki Kimura, Abraham Aviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Oxidative stress is a key factor driving the aging of cells and arteries. Studies suggest that white blood cell (WBC) telomere length is an index of systemic aging. We, therefore, investigated the association between WBC telomere length and oxidized-LDL, and vascular aging, expressed by the distensibility of the carotid artery. We studied a random population sample of 216 non-smokers and 89, smokers. In all subjects, age and gender- adjusted telomere length was inversely correlated with plasma oxidized-LDL (regression coefficient = -0.656 kb/mg/dL; p=0.0006). Independent of gender, age and mean blood pressure, carotid distensibility increased with telomere length (2.33+/- 1.18 10-3/kPa/kb; p=0.05) but decreased with higher plasma levels of oxidized LDL (-10.7+/- 3.91 10-3/kPa/ mg/dL; p=0.006). Adjusted for gender and age, smokers' telomere length was shorter (6.72 vs 6.91 kb; p=0.014) and plasma oxidized-LDL level higher (0.52 vs 0.46 mg/dL; p=0.03) than in non-smokers. Higher level of oxidized-LDL, is associated with shorter WBC telomeres and increased stiffness of the carotid artery. Smoking is marked by increased oxidative stress in concert with shortened WBC telomere length.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1168
Number of pages5
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience, Elite edition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • Adult
  • Carotid Arteries
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking
  • Telomere
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Cite this