Associations of Age, Sex, Race/Ethnicity and Education with 13 Epigenetic Clocks in a Nationally Representative US Sample: The Health and Retirement Study.

TitleAssociations of Age, Sex, Race/Ethnicity and Education with 13 Epigenetic Clocks in a Nationally Representative US Sample: The Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsCrimmins, EM, Thyagarajan, B, Levine, ME, Weir, DR, Faul, JD
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series A
ISSN Number1758-535X
KeywordsDNA Methylation, DunedinPoAm38, Epigenetic Age, GrimAge, PhenoAgeAcceleration
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Many DNA methylation based indicators have been developed as summary measures of epigenetic aging. We examine the associations between 13 epigenetic clocks, including 4 second generation clocks, as well as the links of the clocks to social, demographic and behavioral factors known to be related to health outcomes: sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, obesity and lifetime smoking pack years.

METHODS: The Health and Retirement Study is the data source which is a nationally representative sample of Americans over age 50. Assessment of DNA methylation was based on the EPIC chip and epigenetic clocks were developed based on existing literature.

RESULTS: The clocks vary in the strength of their relationships with age, with each other and with independent variables. Second generation clocks trained on health related characteristics tend to relate more strongly to the sociodemographic and health behaviors known to be associated with health outcomes in this age group.

CONCLUSIONS: Users of this publicly available data set should be aware that epigenetic clocks vary in their relationships to age and to variables known to be related to the process of health change with age.

DOI10.1093/gerona/glab016
Citation Key11384
PubMed ID33453106