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Socioeconomic position, lifestyle habits and biomarkers of epigenetic aging: A multi-cohort analysis

Fiorito, G; McCrory, C; Robinson, O; Carmeli, C; Rosales, CO; Zhang, Y; Colicino, E; ... Mackenbach, J; + view all (2019) Socioeconomic position, lifestyle habits and biomarkers of epigenetic aging: A multi-cohort analysis. Aging , 11 (7) pp. 2045-2070. 10.18632/aging.101900. Green open access

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Abstract

Differences in health status by socioeconomic position (SEP) tend to be more evident at older ages, suggesting the involvement of a biological mechanism responsive to the accumulation of deleterious exposures across the lifespan. DNA methylation (DNAm) has been proposed as a biomarker of biological aging that conserves memory of endogenous and exogenous stress during life. We examined the association of education level, as an indicator of SEP, and lifestyle-related variables with four biomarkers of age-dependent DNAm dysregulation: the total number of stochastic epigenetic mutations (SEMs) and three epigenetic clocks (Horvath, Hannum and Levine), in 18 cohorts spanning 12 countries. The four biological aging biomarkers were associated with education and different sets of risk factors independently, and the magnitude of the effects differed depending on the biomarker and the predictor. On average, the effect of low education on epigenetic aging was comparable with those of other lifestyle-related risk factors (obesity, alcohol intake), with the exception of smoking, which had a significantly stronger effect. Our study shows that low education is an independent predictor of accelerated biological (epigenetic) aging and that epigenetic clocks appear to be good candidates for disentangling the biological pathways underlying social inequalities in healthy aging and longevity.

Type: Article
Title: Socioeconomic position, lifestyle habits and biomarkers of epigenetic aging: A multi-cohort analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.18632/aging.101900
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101900
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open‐access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10074212
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