Paper Spotlight: Common ECG Measures are not Associated with Telomere Length

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August 9, 2022

Aging-US published this research paper on July 5, 2022 in Volume 14, Issue 14, entitled, "Common electrocardiogram measures are not associated with telomere length" by researchers Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany; German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), Partner Site Munich Heart Alliance, Munich, Germany; Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany; Research Unit Molecular Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany; Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany; Institute of Genetic Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany; Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics (IMBEI), University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany; Pettenkofer School of Public Health Munich, Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany. DOI - https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204149 Corresponding author - Moritz F. Sinner - moritz.sinner@med.uni-muenchen.de Abstract Aims: Aging is accompanied by telomere shortening. Increased telomere shortening is considered a marker of premature aging. Cardiac aging results in the development of cardiac pathologies. Electrocardiogram (ECG) measures reflect cardiac excitation, conduction, and repolarization. ECG measures also prolong with aging and are associated with cardiac pathologies including atrial fibrillation. As premature prolongation of ECG measures is observed, we hypothesized that such prolongation may be associated with telomere length. Methods and Results: We studied the large, community-based KORA F4 Study. Of 3,080 participants enrolled between 2006 and 2007 with detailed information on demographic, anthropometric, clinical, and ECG characteristics, 2,575 presented with available data on leukocyte telomere length. Telomere length was determined by real-time quantitative PCR and expressed relative to a single copy gene. We fitted multivariable adjusted linear regression models to associate the ECG measures RR-interval, PR-interval, QRS-duration, and heart rate corrected QTc with telomere length. In our cohort, the mean age was 54.9±12.9 years and 46.6% were men. Increased age was associated with shorter telomere length (p<0.01), and men had shorter telomere length than women (p<0.05). In unadjusted models, heart rate (p=0.023), PR-interval (p<0.01), and QTc-interval (p<0.01) were significantly associated with shorter telomere length. However, no significant associations remained after accounting for age, sex, and covariates. Conclusions: ECG measures are age-dependent, but not associated with shortened telomere length as a marker of biological aging. Further research is warranted to clarify if shortened telomeres are associated with clinical cardiac pathologies including atrial fibrillation. Keywords - aging, electrocardiogram, telomere length, cardiac aging About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at https://www.Aging-US.com​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/Aging-Us Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AgingUS/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/AgingJrnl Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/agingjrnl/ YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/agingus​ LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/aging/ Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/AgingUS/ Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

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