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J Int Med Res. 2016 Dec;44(6):1156-1173. doi: 10.1177/0300060516667132. Epub 2016 Nov 11.

Association between telomere length and diabetes mellitus: A meta-analysis.

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1 Laboratory of Biology Chip, College of Life Sciences, Hebei University, Baoding, China.
2 Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Pomona, CA, USA.
3 University "Stefan cel Mare" Suceava, Romania.


Objective We investigated the relationship between diabetes and telomere length by meta-analysis. Methods We searched five popular databases for articles published between 1990 and 2015 using "diabetes" and "telomere" as search terms. Data were processed with RevMan5, and random- or fixed-effects meta-analysis was applied. The effects of geographical region, diabetes type, body mass index (BMI), age and sex were examined. Funnel plots were applied to evaluate publication bias. Results Seventeen articles were obtained from 571 references. We identified a significant association between telomere length and diabetes mellitus (standardized mean difference [SMD]: -3.41; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -4.01, -2.80; heterogeneity, I2 = 99%) by comparing 5575 patients with diabetes and 6349 healthy individuals. The pooled SMD by geographic region indicated a significant association between shortened telomere length and diabetes mellitus (SMD: -3.41; 95% CI: -4.01, -2.80; heterogeneity, I2 = 99%). In addition, telomere length was significantly associated with age (SMD: -3.41; 95% CI: -4.01, -2.80), diabetes type (SMD: -3.41; 95% CI: -4.01, -2.80), BMI (SMD: -1.61; 95% CI: -1.98, -1.23) and sex (SMD: -4.94; 95% CI: -9.47, -0.40). Conclusions The study demonstrated a close relationship between diabetes mellitus and telomere length, which was influenced by region, age, diabetes type, BMI and sex.


Telomere length; diabetes mellitus; meta-analysis

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