Telomeres are repetitive nucleoprotein structures located at the ends of chromosomes. Reduction in the number of repetitions causes cell senescence. Cells with high proliferative potential age with each replication cycle. Post-mitotic cells (e.g. cardiovascular cells) have a different aging mechanism. During the aging of cardiovascular system cells, permanent DNA damage occurs in the telomeric regions caused by mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a phenomenon independent of cell proliferation and telomere length. Mitochondrial dysfunction is accompanied by increased production of reactive oxygen species and development of inflammation. This phenomenon in the cells of blood vessels can lead to atherosclerosis development. Telomere damage in cardiomyocytes leads to the activation of the DNA damage response system, histone H2A.X phosphorylation, p53 activation and p21 and p16 protein synthesis, resulting in the SASP phenotype (senescence-associated secretory phenotype), increased inflammation and cardiac dysfunction. Cardiovascular cells show the activity of the TERT subunit of telomerase, an enzyme that prevents telomere shortening. It turns out that disrupting the activity of this enzyme can also contribute to the formation of cardiovascular diseases. Measurements of telomere length according to the "blood-muscle" model may help in the future to assess the risk of cardiovascular complications in people undergoing cardiological procedures, as well as to assess the effectiveness of some drugs. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.