Association of leukocyte telomere length with circulating biomarkers of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system: The Framingham heart study

Ramachandran S. Vasan, Serkalem Demissie, Masayuki Kimura, L. Adrienne Cupples, Nader Rifai, Charles White, Thomas J. Wang, Jeffrey P. Gardner, Xiaogian Cao, Emelia J. Benjamin, Daniel Levy, Abraham Aviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND - Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) chronicles the cumulative burden of oxidative stress and inflammation over a life course. Activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation. Therefore, LTL may be related to circulating biomarkers of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. METHODS AND RESULTS - We evaluated the cross-sectional relations of LTL (dependent variable) to circulating renin and aldosterone concentrations and the renin-to-aldosterone ratio (all logarithmically transformed; independent variables) in 1203 Framingham Study participants (mean age, 59 years; 51% women). We used multivariable linear regression and adjusted for age, blood pressure, hypertension treatment, smoking, diabetes mellitus, body mass index, hormone replacement therapy, serum creatinine, and the urine sodium-to-creatinine ratio. Overall, multivariable-adjusted LTL was inversely related to renin (β coefficient per unit increase, -0.038; P=0.036), directly related to aldosterone (β=0.099; P=0.002), and inversely related to the renin-to-aldosterone ratio (β=-0.049; P=0.003). Relations of LTL to biomarkers were stronger in those with hypertension, although a formal test of interaction was not statistically significant (P=0.20). Individuals with hypertension displayed significant associations of LTL with renin (β=-0.060; P=0.005), aldosterone (β=0.134; P=0.002), and renin-to-aldosterone ratio (β=-0.072; P<0.001). Participants with hypertension who were in the top tertile of the renin-to-aldosterone ratio had LTL that was 182 base pairs shorter relative to those in the lowest tertile. CONCLUSIONS - In our community-based sample, LTL was shorter in individuals with a higher renin-to-aldosterone ratio, especially in participants with hypertension. Additional investigations are warranted to confirm our observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1144
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aldosterone
  • Epidemiology
  • Hypertension
  • Oxidative stress
  • Renin
  • Telomere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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