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Life course socioeconomic position and DNA methylation age acceleration in mid-life

George, A; Hardy, R; Castillo Fernandez, J; Kelly, Y; Maddock, J; (2021) Life course socioeconomic position and DNA methylation age acceleration in mid-life. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 10.1136/jech-2020-215608. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Ageing biomarkers can help us better understand how well-established socioeconomic position (SEP) disparities in ageing occur. A promising new set of DNAm methylation (DNAm)-based ageing biomarkers indicate through their age acceleration (AA) measures if biological ageing is slower or faster than chronological ageing. Few studies have investigated the association between SEP and DNAm AA. METHODS: We used linear regression to examine the sex-adjusted relationships between childhood social class, adult social class, intergenerational social class change, education and adult household earnings with first (Horvath AA and Hannum AA) and second generation (PhenoAge AA and GrimAge AA) DNAm AA markers using data from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. RESULTS: In the first-generation biomarkers, there was little evidence of any associations with Horvath AA but associations of childhood social class and income with Hannum AA were observed. Strong associations were seen between greater disadvantage in childhood and adult SEP and greater AA in the second generation biomarkers. For example, those with fathers in an unskilled occupational social class in childhood had 3.6 years greater PhenoAge AA (95% CI 1.8 to 5.4) than those with fathers from a professional social class. Individuals without qualifications had higher AA compared with those with higher education (4.1 years greater GrimAge AA (95% CI 3.1 to 5.0)). CONCLUSION: Our findings highlight the importance of exposure to social disadvantage in childhood to the biological ageing process. The second generation clocks appear to be more sensitive to the accumulation of social disadvantage across the life course.

Type: Article
Title: Life course socioeconomic position and DNA methylation age acceleration in mid-life
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2020-215608
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2020-215608
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
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 Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127320
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