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J Mol Med (Berl). 2008 Jul;86(7):815-24. doi: 10.1007/s00109-008-0347-x. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

The association of telomere length with paternal history of premature myocardial infarction in the European Atherosclerosis Research Study II.

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1
Department of Medicine, British Heart Foundation Laboratories, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, WC1E 6JF, UK. k.salpea@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Inter-individual variability in telomere length is highly heritable and has been correlated with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Our aim was to determine the association of mean leukocyte telomere length with paternal history of premature myocardial infarction (MI). Mean leukocyte telomere length was measured with real-time polymerase chain reactions in 369 male students (18-28 years) with a paternal history of MI before the age of 55, recruited from 14 European universities, serving as cases and 396 age-matched controls with no paternal history of CHD. Overall, cases had borderline significantly shorter mean length (approximately 550 bp), adjusted for age and geographical region, than controls (p = 0.05). A significant difference in telomere length across the geographical regions of Europe was observed (p < 0.0001), with shorter mean length in the Baltic and South and the longest in the Middle. The case-control difference ( approximately 2.24 kb) in mean length was highly significant only in the Baltic region (p < 0.0001). There is suggestive evidence that, in young men, the biological expression of a paternal history of premature MI is at least in part mediated through inherited short telomeres. The association with paternal history of MI is strongly seen only in the Baltic compared to the rest of Europe, but this is not explained by shorter telomere length in this region.

PMID:
18414821
PMCID:
PMC2480609
DOI:
10.1007/s00109-008-0347-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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