Objective We aimed to evaluate the relationship between telomere length and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods PUBMED and EMBASE databases were searched; meta-analyses were performed comparing telomere length in SLE patients and healthy controls, and on SLE patients in subgroups based on ethnicity, sample type, assay method and data type. Results Eight studies including 472 SLE patients and 365 controls were ultimately selected which showed that telomere length was significantly shorter in the SLE group than in the control group (standardized mean difference (SMD) = -'0.835, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -'1.291 to -'0.380, p = 3.3 × 10-'4). Stratification by ethnicity showed significantly shortened telomere length in the SLE group in Caucasian, Asian and mixed populations (SMD = -'0.455, 95% CI = -'0.763 to -'0.147, p = 0.004; SMD = -'0.887, 95% CI = -'1.261 to -'0.513, p = 3.4 × 10-'4; SMD = -'0.535, 95% CI = -'0.923 to -'0.147, p = 0.007; respectively). Furthermore, telomere length was significantly shorter in the SLE group than in the control group in whole blood and peripheral blood mononuclear cell groups (SMD = -'0.361, 95% CI = -'0.553 to -'0.169, p = 2.3 × 10-'4; SMD = -'1.546, 95% CI = -'2.583 to -'0.510, p = 0.003; respectively); a similar trend was observed in leukocyte groups (SMD = -'0.699, 95% CI = -'1.511 to -'0.114, p = 0.092). Meta-analyses based on assay method or data type revealed similar associations. Conclusions Our meta-analysis demonstrated that telomere length was significantly shorter in patients with SLE, regardless of ethnicity, sample type or assay method evaluated.
- systemic lupus erythematosus
ASJC Scopus subject areas