Document Type



Cardiology; Office of the Provost


Background: There is need to identify novel markers that lead to an early occurrence of myocardial infarction (MI) in young South Asian population. This population has different risk profile as compared with others. Telomere length is known to be a marker of aging, and shorter telomeres have been reported in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). We aimed to identify the association of telomere length in young nonsmokers and non-diabetic MI patients.
Methods: In a case-control study of 154 subjects (n = 77 cases (ages 18-45 years, non-diabetic, non-smoker patients with MI) and n = 77, age and sex matched healthy controls), DNA extraction from peripheral blood leukocytes was carried out and the relative telomere length was estimated by quantitative PCR. The results were adjusted with various demographic parameters like age, gender and body mass index (BMI). The correlation studies were carried out between telomere length, sex and type of MI.
Results: The relative telomere length was significantly shorter in young MI patients (31-45 years) compared with matched healthy controls (p < 0.0001). Interestingly, in a gender-based comparison, the female patients had shorter telomere length (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: In this pilot study, we found that the telomere length was shorter among young, non-diabetic, non-smoker MI patients as compared with similar young controls without MI in a South Asian cohort. Thus, telomere length may be a potential screening tool for young patients who don't have conventional risk factors. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Indian Heart Journal