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Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Aug-Sep;103(8-9):454-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2010.08.002. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

Telomere length and cardiovascular disease.

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IFR Santé-STIC, UFR de Médecine et Pharmacie, Laboratoire de Physiopathologie et Pharmacologie Cardiovasculaires Expérimentales (LPPCE), Université de Bourgogne, 7, Boulevard Jeanne-d'Arc, 21000 Dijon, France.


Telomeres are structures composed of deoxyribonucleic acid repeats that protect the end of chromosomes, but shorten with each cell division. They have been the subject of many studies, particularly in the field of oncology, and more recently their role in the onset, development and prognosis of cardiovascular disease has generated considerable interest. It has already been shown that these structures may deteriorate at the beginning of the atherosclerotic process, in the onset and development of arterial hypertension or during myocardial infarction, in which their length may be a predictor of outcome. As telomere length by its nature is a marker of cell senescence, it is of particular interest when studying the lifespan and fate of endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes, especially so because telomere length seems to be regulated by various factors notably certain cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, sex and obesity that are associated with high levels of oxidative stress. To gain insights into the links between telomere length and cardiovascular disease, and to assess the usefulness of telomere length as a new marker of cardiovascular risk, it seems essential to review the considerable amount of data published recently on the subject.

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