Shortened DNA telomere length identifies patients with diabetes at high risk of cardiovascular disease



A large cohort study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine), in collaboration with investigators from the University of Sydney, Australia, has discovered that shortened DNA telomere length is a useful biomarker linked to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. The Endocrinology and Diabetes team of CU Medicine evaluated this biomarker in over 5,300 type 2 diabetes patients during a 13-year follow-up period. Patients with cardiovascular disease at baseline or during follow-up had shorter tail-ends of DNA strands, expressed as relative Leukocyte Telomere Length (rLTL), than those who never had cardiovascular disease. For each unit relative decrease in rLTL, the risk of cardiovascular disease increased by 25%. These results have been published in Diabetes Care.



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