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Relative leucocyte telomere length is associated with incident end-stage kidney disease and rapid decline of kidney function in type 2 diabetes: analysis from the Hong Kong Diabetes Register – published online 22/11/2021

Cheng graphical abstract

Feifei Cheng, Andrea O. Luk, Hongjiang Wu, Claudia H. T. Tam, Cadmon K. P. Lim, Baoqi Fan, Guozhi Jiang, Luke Carroll, Aimin Yang, Eric S. H. Lau, Alex C. W. Ng, Heung Man Lee, Elaine Chow, Alice P. S. Kong, Anthony C. Keech, Mugdha V. Joglekar, Wing Yee So, Anandwardhan A. Hardikar, Juliana C. N. Chan, Alicia J. Jenkins, Ronald C. W. Ma

Telomere length shortening, representing reduction in the protective caps at the ends of our chromosomes, is known to be associated with biological ageing and different cardiometabolic diseases, although it is unclear whether it has prognostic significance for predicting kidney disease in diabetes. In this issue, Cheng et al ( report that in a large cohort of people with type 2 diabetes from Hong Kong, reduced telomere length in white blood cells was an independent predictor for decline in kidney function and future risk of kidney failure. The authors suggest that this effect was independent of other established risk factors for kidney dysfunction, and improves prediction beyond that provided by clinical factors alone. The authors conclude that these findings indicate telomere length shortening may be helpful in stratifying the future risk of kidney disease in people with diabetes.

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