No Link Between Telomere Length and Diabetes Risk

No independent association found in multiethnic cohort of postmenopausal women

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Leukocyte telomere length is not independently associated with type 2 diabetes risk in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online July 24 in Diabetes.

Nai-chieh Y. You, from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues compared leukocyte telomere length in 1,675 postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes and 2,382 matched controls, from the multiethnic Women's Health Initiative.

The researchers found that, after adjustment for matching and known diabetes risk factors, the odds ratios per one-kilobase increment ranged from 0.88 to 1.00 depending on ethnicity, and that none of the associations were significant. They identified 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms out of 80 examined in nine genes involved in telomere regulation that were predictive of telomere length, but none were significantly associated with diabetes, even when considering ethnic-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms.

"Although leukocyte telomere length was weakly associated with diabetes risk, this association was not independent of known risk factors," You and colleagues conclude. "These prospective findings indicate limited clinical utility of telomere length in diabetes risk stratification among postmenopausal women."

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