|Title||The Socioeconomic Gradient in Epigenetic Ageing Clocks: Evidence from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and the Health and Retirement Study.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Schmitz, LL, Zhao, W, Ratliff, SM, Goodwin, J, Miao, J, Lu, Q, Guo, X, Taylor, KD, Ding, J, Liu, Y, Levine, ME, Smith, JA|
|Keywords||DNA methylation age, epigenetic clock, polygenic score, socioeconomic status|
Epigenetic clocks have been widely used to predict disease risk in multiple tissues or cells. Their success as a measure of biological ageing has prompted research on the connection between epigenetic pathways of ageing and the socioeconomic gradient in health and mortality. However, studies examining social correlates of epigenetic ageing have yielded inconsistent results. We conducted a comprehensive, comparative analysis of associations between various dimensions of socioeconomic status (SES) (education, income, wealth, occupation, neighbourhood environment, and childhood SES) and eight epigenetic clocks in two well-powered US ageing studies: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) (n = 1,211) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (n = 4,018). In both studies, we found robust associations between SES measures in adulthood and the GrimAge and DunedinPoAm clocks (Bonferroni-corrected -value < 0.01). In the HRS, significant associations with the Levine and Yang clocks were also evident. These associations were only partially mediated by smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity, which suggests that differences in health behaviours alone cannot explain the SES gradient in epigenetic ageing in older adults. Further analyses revealed concurrent associations between polygenic risk for accelerated intrinsic epigenetic ageing, SES, and the Levine clock, indicating that genetic risk and social disadvantage may contribute additively to faster biological aging.
|PubMed Central ID||PMC9235889|