Leucocyte telomere length is considered a marker of biological ageing and has been suggested to be shorter in patients with CAD and heart failure compared with healthy controls. The aim of this study was to determine whether telomere length is associated with clinical outcomes in patients with ischaemic heart failure and whether this association is superior to chronological age as defined by date of birth.
We measured leucocyte telomere length in 3275 patients with chronic ischaemic systolic heart failure participating in the COntrolled ROsuvastatin multiNAtional Trial in Heart Failure (CORONA) study. The primary composite endpoint was cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and non-fatal stroke, which occurred in 575 patients during follow-up. We observed a significant association of leucocyte telomere lengths with the primary endpoint (hazard ratio 1.10; 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.20; P=0.03). However, this observation was not superior to age as defined by date of birth. The neutral effect of rosuvastatin treatment on clinical outcomes was not modified by baseline telomere length.
Biological age as defined by leucocyte telomere length was associated with clinical outcomes in patients with ischaemic heart failure, but this association did not add prognostic information above age as defined by date of birth.