|Title||Positive social factors prospectively predict younger epigenetic age: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Hillmann, AR, Dhingra, R, Reed, RG|
|Keywords||Aging, DNA Methylation, Epigenesis, genetic, Retirement, Social Factors, Spouses|
OBJECTIVES: Positive social factors may slow biological aging, but this has yet to be rigorously tested. This study investigated whether baseline levels or changes over time in social support and contact frequency prospectively predicted epigenetic age.
METHOD: Health and Retirement Study participants (N = 1912, 46.3 % male, aged 42-87 at baseline) reported longitudinal social support and contact frequency data up to 3 times between 2006 and 2016 and provided blood in 2016. Baseline levels (intercepts) and changes over time (slopes) in social support from and contact frequency with spouses, children, friends, and other family were outputted from multilevel models and used to predict epigenetic age, estimated from Horvath, Hannum, GrimAge, PhenoAge, and Dunedin Pace of Aging.
RESULTS: In models adjusted for demographic and health characteristics, higher baseline levels of support from and contact frequency with friends were prospectively associated with a slower Pace of Aging (support: p = .002; contact: p = 0.009) and a lower GrimAge (contact: p = .001). In addition, higher contact frequency with children at baseline was prospectively associated with a lower GrimAge (p < .001), and higher contact frequency with family at baseline and an increase in family contact over time was associated with a lower Hannum age (baseline: p = .005; slope: p = .015).
CONCLUSIONS: Perceived support from and contact with close others, particularly friends, may have implications for healthy biological aging. Notably, the effect sizes for friends were comparable to the effect of body mass index on epigenetic age. Positive social factors were generally associated with second- and third-generation clocks, which may be more sensitive to psychosocial factors than first-generation clocks.
|PubMed Central ID||PMC9898135|
|Grant List||R00 AG056635 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States |
R25 AG053227 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
T32 HL007560 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States