Aims: To analyze changes in telomere length (TL) after dialysis initiation. Methods: In 59 Japanese incident dialysis patients, associations between TL in peripheral blood leukocytes, inflammatory biomarkers and nutritional status at baseline and changes in TL during 1 year of dialysis, were investigated. Results: Whereas relative TL decreased by 8.6% (median 14.4%), TL elongation occurred in 16 patients (27%). Change in TL (ΔTL), defined as TL at 1 year minus TL at baseline, was associated with baseline TL (ρ = -0.70, p < 0.0001) and leukocyte count (ρ = 0.26, p = 0.044). In a logistic regression model, baseline TL (p < 0.0001) and leukocyte count (p = 0.047) were associated with ΔTL. Conclusions: TL shortening was observed in most incident dialysis patients. In 16 of the 59 patients, TL elongation occurred, possibly reflecting a more robust biological aging in patients whose naïve leukocytes may have undergone less proliferation to replace lost leukocytes.
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