Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an age-related disease, with data supporting the notion that COPD is a systemic disease of accelerated aging.
COPD is associated with oxidative stress, which becomes amplified during exacerbations and enhances telomere shortening.
A recent 2018 study shows that participants with moderate-to-severe COPD who had shorter leukocyte telomere lengths were more likely to have poor quality of life with a higher risk of exacerbation and death.
This study collected blood in 597 participants who agreed to participate in DNA biobanking. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, the study found that short telomere lengths in peripheral leukocytes were associated with reduced quality of life and a higher risk of exacerbation and death in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD.
The study measured absolute telomere length of peripheral leukocytes, likely increasing the precision of measurements and enabling cross-comparison with other studies.
Peripheral leukocyte telomeres are readily accessible and easy to measure, and therefore may represent a clinically translatable biomarker for patient risk stratification as well as identifying individuals at increased risk of poor outcomes of COPD.
Full information on the 2018 study into Relationship of Absolute Telomere Length With Quality of Life, Exacerbations, and Mortality in COPD can found in the following abstract, with the full article found in CHEST® Journal August 2018 | Volume 154, Issue 2, Pages 266–273