Epigenetic age acceleration mediates the association between smoking and diabetes-related outcomes.

TitleEpigenetic age acceleration mediates the association between smoking and diabetes-related outcomes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsChang, X-Y, Lin, W-Y
JournalClin Epigenetics
ISSN Number1868-7083
KeywordsAging, Diabetes Mellitus, DNA Methylation, Epigenesis, Genetic, Humans, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1, Smoking

BACKGROUND: Smoking can lead to the deterioration of lung function and susceptibility to diabetes. Recently, smoking was found to induce DNA methylation (DNAm) changes in some cytosine-phosphate-guanine sites (CpGs). As linear combinations of DNAm levels of aging-related CpGs, five measures of epigenetic age acceleration (EAA) have received extensive attention: HannumEAA, IEAA, PhenoEAA, GrimEAA, and DunedinPACE. It is of interest to explore whether some measures of EAA can mediate the associations of smoking with diabetes-related outcomes and indices of ventilatory lung function.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In this study, we included self-reported smoking variables (smoking status, the number of pack-years, and years since smoking cessation), seven DNAm markers (HannumEAA, IEAA, PhenoEAA, GrimEAA, DNAm-based smoking pack-years, DNAm plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 [PAI-1] levels, and DunedinPACE), and four health outcomes (fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, forced expiratory volume in 1.0 s [FEV1], and forced vital capacity [FVC]) from 2474 Taiwan Biobank participants. Mediation analyses were conducted while adjusting for chronological age, sex, body mass index, drinking status, regular exercise status, educational attainment, and five cell-type proportions. We demonstrated that GrimEAA, DNAm-based smoking pack-years, DNAm PAI-1 levels, DunedinPACE, and PhenoEAA mediated smoking associations with diabetes-related outcomes. Moreover, current and former smoking both had an adverse indirect effect on FVC through DNAm PAI-1 levels. For former smokers, a long time since smoking cessation had a positive indirect impact on FVC through GrimEAA and on FEV1 through PhenoEAA.

CONCLUSIONS: This is one of the first studies to comprehensively investigate the role of five measures of EAA in mediating the associations of smoking with the health outcomes of an Asian population. The results showed that the second-generation epigenetic clocks (GrimEAA, DunedinPACE, and PhenoEAA) significantly mediated the associations between smoking and diabetes-related outcomes. In contrast, the first-generation epigenetic clocks (HannumEAA and IEAA) did not significantly mediate any associations of smoking variables with the four health outcomes. Cigarette smoking can, directly and indirectly, deteriorate human health through DNAm changes in aging-related CpG sites.

Citation Key13315
PubMed ID37268982
PubMed Central IDPMC10239178