The current study aimed to investigate the association between telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes and kidney function in various age groups of a healthy population. A total of 139 healthy individuals were divided into five groups according to their age: 35‑44, 45‑54, 55‑64, 65‑74 and >75 years old. Peripheral blood leukocytes were obtained and the telomere restriction fragment (TRF) length was assayed using a digoxigenin‑labeled hybridization probe in Southern blot assays. Laboratory assays of kidney function were also performed. A correlation was observed between TRF length and age (r=‑0.314, P<0.001), with the telomere length of the individuals >75 years group being significantly shorter than the telomere length of the 35‑44, 45‑54 and 55‑64 years age groups (P<0.05). By contrast, the TRF length for males versus females did not differ for any of the age groups, while a correlation was observed between TRF length and serum levels of cystatin C (r=‑0.195, P<0.05). There was also a correlation between TRF length and glomerular filtration rate (r=‑0.184, P<0.05). The current study demonstrated that in this cohort, leukocyte telomere length reduced with age and was correlated with serum levels of cystatin C and glomerular filtration rate. Therefore, TRF length is associated with kidney function and may serve as a marker of aging.