|Title||Biological expressions of early life trauma in the immune system of older adults.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Noppert, GA, Duchowny, KA, Stebbins, R, Aiello, AE, Dowd, JB, Clarke, P|
|Keywords||Adolescent, Aged, Cytomegalovirus Infections, Humans, Immune System, Immunoglobulin G, Interleukin-6, United States, White|
BACKGROUND: Poor immune function is associated with increased risk for a number of age-related diseases, however, little is known about the impact of early life trauma on immune function in late-life.
METHODS: Using nationally representative data from the Health and Retirement Study (n = 5,823), we examined the association between experiencing parental/caregiver death or separation before age 16 and four indicators of immune function in late-life: C-reactive Protein (CRP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor (sTNFR), and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) response to cytomegalovirus (CMV). We also examined racial/ethnic differences.
FINDINGS: Individuals that identified as racial/ethnic minorities were more likely to experience parental/caregiver loss and parental separation in early life compared to Non-Hispanic Whites, and had poorer immune function in late-life. We found consistent associations between experiencing parental/caregiver loss and separation and poor immune function measured by CMV IgG levels and IL-6 across all racial/ethnic subgroups. For example, among Non-Hispanic Blacks, those that experienced parental/caregiver death before age 16 had a 26% increase in CMV IgG antibodies in late-life (β = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.17, 1.34) compared to a 3% increase in CMV antibodies among Non-Hispanic Whites (β = 1.03; 95% CI: 0.99, 1.07) controlling for age, gender, and parental education.
INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest a durable association between experiencing early life trauma and immune health in late-life, and that structural forces may shape the ways in which these relationships unfold over the life course.
|User Guide Notes|
|PubMed Central ID||PMC10284407|
|Grant List||R00 AG062749 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States |
R01 AG075719 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
K99 AG066846 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R00 AG066846 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States