Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Telomeres located at the ends of chromosomes are involved in genomic stability and play a key role in various cancers and age-related diseases. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a late-onset, age-associated progressive neurodegenerative disease, which includes the geographic atrophy (GA) subtype and the choroidal neovascularization (CNV) subtype. To better understand how leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is related to AMD, we conducted an association study in 197 AMD patients and 259 healthy controls using the established quantitative PCR technique. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association of LTL and AMD with the age-adjusted ratio of the telomere length to the copy number of a single-copy gene (T/S). Notably, we found a significant association between AMD and LTL (OR=2.24; 95% CI=1.68-3.07; P=0.0001) after adjusting for age and sex. Furthermore, the results showed a strongly significant association between the GA subtype and the LTL (OR=4.81; 95% CI=3.15-7.82; P=0.0001) after adjusting for age and sex. Our findings provide evidence of the role that LTL plays in the pathological mechanisms of AMD, mainly in the GA subgroup but not the CNV subgroup.