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Genes 2019, 10(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10010051

A Direct Comparison of the Relationship of Epigenetic Aging and Epigenetic Substance Consumption Markers to Mortality in the Framingham Heart Study

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
2
Center for Family Research, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
3
Cardio Diagnostics LLC, Coralville, IA 52241, USA
4
Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Stoors, CT 06268, USA
5
Department of Biostatistics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
6
Behavioral Diagnostics LLC, Coralville, IA 52241, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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Abstract

A number of studies have examined the relationship of indices of epigenetic aging (EA) to key health outcomes. Unfortunately, our understanding of the relationship of EA to mortality and substance use-related health variables is unclear. In order to clarify these interpretations, we analyzed the relationship of the Levine EA index (LEA), as well as established epigenetic indices of cigarette (cg05575921) and alcohol consumption (cg04987734), to all-cause mortality in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort (n = 2256) Cox proportional hazards regression. We found that cg05575921 and cg04987734 had an independent effect relative to LEA and vice versa, with the model including all the predictors having better performance than models with either LEA or cg05575921 and cg04987734 alone. After correction for multiple comparisons, 195 and 327, respectively, of the 513 markers in the LEA index, as well as the overall index itself, were significantly associated with cg05575921 and cg04987734 methylation status. We conclude that the epigenetic indices of substance use have an independent effect over and above LEA, and are slightly stronger predictors of mortality in head-to-head comparisons. We also conclude that the majority of the strength of association conveyed by the LEA is secondary to smoking and drinking behaviors, and that efforts to promote healthy aging should continue to focus on addressing substance use. View Full-Text
Keywords: epigenetic aging; alcohol; smoking; DNA methylation; aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor; survival epigenetic aging; alcohol; smoking; DNA methylation; aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor; survival
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Mills, J.A.; Beach, S.R.; Dogan, M.; Simons, R.L.; Gibbons, F.X.; Long, J.D.; Philibert, R. A Direct Comparison of the Relationship of Epigenetic Aging and Epigenetic Substance Consumption Markers to Mortality in the Framingham Heart Study. Genes 2019, 10, 51.

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