Date Published: 12 January 2007

BHF comments on DNA telomeres as a potential heart disease marker

According to BHF funded research, men with short telomeres—repetitive strips of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes—may have a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than those with long telomeres.

In response to this British Heart Foundation-funded research in the Lancet on telomere length as a potential predictor for heart disease, Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director of the BHF, said:

" This is an important BHF study1 that adds to recent findings from another of our researchers showing that the rate at which cells age may have an important effect on a person's risk of suffering a heart attack.

Further research is required to determine whether the length of telomeres could be a practical measure to find patients that would benefit most from preventive treatment for heart disease.

The results also provide exciting insights into the underlying mechanisms of heart attacks, taking us closer to finding more ways of preventing them from happening.”


Ref. (1) - Telomere length, risk of coronary heart disease, and statin treatment in the West of Scotland Primary Prevention Study. S W Brouilette and others. Lancet 2007; 369: 107–14


Source: British Heart Foundation (BHF).

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