Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Short Report

Telomere length, pre-eclampsia, and gestational diabetes

Emily W Harville1*, Michelle A Williams23, Chun-fang Qiu2, Julie Mejia4 and Rosa Ana Risques4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA

2 Center for Perinatal Studies, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA

3 Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA

4 Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:113  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-113

Published: 23 April 2010



Telomere length is a marker of cumulative damage to the cell, and has been associated with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.


The association of telomere length with pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) was examined in a nested case-control study. Circulating leukocyte telomere length was measured by Quantitative-PCR. Mean and median telomere length among cases and controls was compared, and logistic regression was used to model the outcomes as a function of tertile telomere length, with control for effects of potential confounders. Mean telomere length in pre-eclampsia cases was 0.77 (SD 0.14), in GDM cases was 0.73 (SD 0.10), and in controls was 0.74 (SD 0.14). The adjusted odds ratio comparing the highest tertile to the lowest for pre-eclampsia was 0.92 (0.15-5.46), and for gestational diabetes was 0.65 (0.13-3.34).


Further study is necessary to determine if telomere length is associated with these pregnancy complications.