Telomere length in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and its associations with carotid plaque

Carly Skamra, Juanita Romero-Diaz, Alexander Sandhu, Qi Quan Huang, Jungwha Lee, William Pearce, David D. McPherson, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell, Richard Pope, Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate telomere length (TL) between patients with SLE and healthy controls and to test if TL is associated with carotid plaque. Methods: A pilot study of 154 patients with SLE and 152 controls was performed from the SOLVABLE (Study of Lupus Vascular and Bone Long-Term Endpoints) cohort. Demographic and cardiovascular disease (CVD) factors were collected at baseline. The presence or absence of plaque was evaluated by B-mode US. Genomic DNA was isolated from whole peripheral blood. TL was quantified using real-time quantitative PCR. Results: SLE women had a short TL compared with healthy controls (4.57 vs 5.44 kb, P = 0.03). SLE women showed shorter TL than controls across all age groups: <35 years (4.38 vs 6.37 kb), 35-44 years (4.52 vs 5.30 kb), 45-54 years (4.77 vs 5.68 kb) and ≥55 years (4.60 vs 4.71 kb). Among patients with SLE and carotid plaque there was a trend towards shorter TL at a younger age and it was significantly lower in the 35- to 44-year age group when compared with controls (P = 0.025). Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated a risk of carotid plaque with older age [odds ratio (OR) 1.09; 95% CI 1.06, 1.12] but not with TL (OR 1.05; 95% CI 0.97, 1.13). Conclusion: SLE women had significantly shorter TL than controls. SLE women trended towards shorter TL at a younger age. When carotid plaque was identified, the younger SLE women had shorter TL. Only older age but not shorter TL was independently associated with carotid plaque. Additional studies are needed to confirm if TL is a novel biomarker for cardiovascular disease in SLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1108
Number of pages8
JournalRheumatology (United Kingdom)
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Telomere length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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