Telomere shortening is well known to be associated with the aging process and aging-associated diseases, including diabetes. The telomere length and subtelomeric methylation status in peripheral leucocytes (LTL) were compared in elderly type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients and diabetes-free controls (C). The methylation status was analyzed between MspI-TRF lengths and HpaII-TRF lengths by using methylation-sensitive and-insensitive restriction enzyme isoschizomers, MspI and HpaII, respectively. The mean telomere lengths, MspI-TRF or HpaII-TRF, were not significantly different between C and T2D patients. The percentage of fractionated densitometry showed that long and middle telomeres (>9.4 kb, 4.4–9.4 kb) were unaltered but short telomeres (<4.4 kb) in T2D patients were increased compared with C group. The methylation status revealed subtelomeric hypomethylation in short telomeres of T2D patients. When some patients with T2D were treated with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaril coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statin), results seen in short telomere of T2D patients were not observed and were not different from C. This suggested that this altered subtelomeric hypomethylation may be associated with the accelerated telomere shortening in elderly diabetic patients. These results also mean that the subtelomeric hypomethylation can also be influenced by statin treatment in T2D.
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