Association of Body Mass Index with DNA Methylation Age Acceleration In African American Mothers: Cross-sectional Analysis from InterGEN Study Open Access

Li, Chengchen (Spring 2019)

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African American women are affected by earlier onset of age-associated health deteriorations and obesity disproportionally, but little is known about the mechanism linking body mass index (BMI) and biological aging among this population. DNA methylation age acceleration (DNAm AA), measuring the difference between DNA methylation age and chronological age, is a novel biomarker of biological aging process, and predict aging-related disease outcomes. 


The present study estimated cross-tissue DNA methylation age acceleration using saliva samples from 232 young African American women. Cross-sectional regression analyses were performed to assess the association of body mass index with age acceleration.


The average chronological age and DNA methylation age were 31.67 years, and 28.79 years, respectively. After adjusting for smoking, hypertension diagnosis history, and socioeconomic factors (education, marital status, household income), 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI is associated with 0.14 years increment of DNAm AA (95% CI: (0.08, 0.21)).


In African American women, high BMI is associated with saliva-based DNA methylation age acceleration, after adjusting for smoking, hypertension, and socioeconomic status. This finding demonstrated the positive association between BMI and DNAm AA across tissue types and demographic groups, and supports the hypothesis that high BMI and obesity accelerate biological aging.

Table of Contents

1.    CHAPTER I            1

2.    CHAPTER II            7

2.1.  Abstract         7

2.2.  Introduction  8

2.3.  Materials and Methods         10

2.4.  Results           13

2.5.  Discussion      15

2.6.  Conclusion     19

2.7.  Reference      21

2.8.  Tables and Figures     29

3.    CHAPTER III           35

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