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Association between leucocyte telomere length and the risk of atrial fibrillation: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Zheng, Yi, Zhang, Nan, Wang, Yueying, Wang, Feng, Li, Guangping, Tse, Gary, Liu, Tong (2022) Association between leucocyte telomere length and the risk of atrial fibrillation: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing research reviews, 81 . Article Number 101707. ISSN 1872-9649. (doi:10.1016/j.arr.2022.101707) (KAR id:96317)


Advancing age is the most important risk factor of atrial fibrillation (AF). The shortening of telomere length is a biomarker of biologic aging. There is an increasing body of evidence that leucocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with the risk of AF development. However, the results in these studies were controversial. The current systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to examine the role of LTL in predicting the incidence of AF. Observational studies reporting the association between LTL and the risk of AF were retrieved through 25th June, 2022 from PubMed and Embase. A total of twelve studies including 18,293 patients were included in the present analysis. Leucocyte telomere shortening was found to be an independent predictor of AF as a continuous variable in both univariate [OR:2.14; 95%CI(1.48,3.10); P < 0.0001] and multivariate analyses [OR:1.41;95%CI(1.11,1.79); P = 0.005], as well as categorical variable in multivariate analysis [OR:1.53; 95%CI(1.04,2.27); P = 0.03]. Furthermore, leucocyte telomere shortening was significantly associated with recurrent AF [OR:4.32;95%CI(2.42,7.69); P < 0.00001] but not new-onset AF [OR:1.14; 95%CI(0.90,1.45); P = 0.29]. Leucocyte telomere shortening was also associated with an increased risk of persistent AF [OR:14.73;95%CI (3.16,68.67); P = 0.0006] and paroxysmal AF [OR:2.74;95%CI(1.45,5.18); P = 0.002]. Besides, LTL was an independent predictor for progression from paroxysmal AF to persistent AF [OR:3.2;95%CI(1.66,6.18); P = 0.0005]. Differences between males [OR:1.99; 95%CI(1.29,3.06); P = 0.002] and females [OR:0.86; 95%CI (0.29,2.56);P = 0.79] were observed. Leucocyte telomere shortening predicts the risk of AF, especially recurrent AF. The predictive value is more prominent in males than in females. Shortening in LTL can predict the progression from paroxysmal to persistent AF.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.arr.2022.101707
Additional information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router ** History: received 08-01-2022; revised 18-07-2022; accepted 02-08-2022.
Uncontrolled keywords: Meta-analysis, Predictor, Atrial fibrillation, Leucocyte telomere shortening, Biological aging
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Kent and Medway Medical School
Funders: National Natural Science Foundation of China (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2022 14:48 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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