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Cardiovascular health and four epigenetic clocks

  • Lo, Yun-Hsiang
  • Lin, Wan-Yu
Published Article
Clinical Epigenetics
Publication Date
Jun 09, 2022
DOI: 10.1186/s13148-022-01295-7
PMID: 35681159
PMCID: PMC9185918
PubMed Central
  • Research


Background Cardiovascular health (CVH) was defined by the American Heart Association as an integrative idealness of seven clinical or lifestyle factors. Based on populations of European ancestry, recent studies have shown that ideal CVH is associated with a slower aging rate. The aging rate is measured by levels of epigenetic age acceleration (EAA), usually obtained from the residuals of regressing DNA methylation (DNAm) age on chronological age. However, little has been known about the association of CVH with biological aging in Asian populations. Methods and results We here analyzed blood DNAm data and clinical/lifestyle factors of 2474 Taiwan Biobank (TWB) participants, to investigate the association of CVH with EAA. CVH was assessed by seven components: smoking status, physical activity, dietary habits, body mass index, total cholesterol, fasting glucose, and blood pressure levels. Four measures of EAA were applied, among which two were based on the first-generation DNAm clocks (HannumEAA and IEAA) and two were based on the second-generation clocks (PhenoEAA and GrimEAA). After excluding 276 individuals with cardiovascular diseases, we regressed EAA on the CVH score (ranging from 0 to 7, integrating the abovementioned seven components) while adjusting for sex, drinking status, and educational attainment. Our results showed that a decrease in one point in the CVH score was associated with a 0.350-year PhenoEAA ( p = 4.5E−4) and a 0.499-year GrimEAA ( p = 4.2E−15). By contrast, HannumEAA and IEAA were not significantly associated with the CVH score. We have obtained consistent results within each generation of epigenetic clocks. Conclusions This is one of the first studies to comprehensively investigate the associations of CVH with four epigenetic clocks. Our TWB data showed that ideal CVH is associated with lower levels of EAA calculated according to the second-generation epigenetic clocks (PhenoEAA and GrimEAA). Having an ideal CVH status can lower EAA and reduce the risk of aging-related disorders. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13148-022-01295-7.

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