|Title||Current Marital Status and Epigenetic Clocks Among Older Adults in the United States: Evidence From the Health and Retirement Study.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||Forthcoming|
|Journal||Journal of Aging and Health|
|Keywords||biological aging, epigenetic clock, intimate partnerships, Marital Status|
This study examines how current marital status is associated with epigenetic aging. Data from the 2016 Health and Retirement Study were used to examine marital status differences in the four epigenetic clocks, that is, , , , and ( = 3765). Weighted ordinary least square regression models were estimated separately for men and women. Remarried, cohabiting, divorced/separated and widowed older adults showed greater epigenetic aging than the continuously married similarly among men and women. Distinct sex difference was observed among the never married. While never-married women exhibited greater epigenetic aging than their continuously married counterparts, older men in lifelong singlehood showed comparable epigenetic aging to their continuously married peers. The findings speak to the importance of marital context for epigenetic aging in later life and the biological risk associated with lifelong singlehood for older women in the US.