Associations between Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Novel Inflammatory Marker Glycoprotein Acetyls in Two Generations of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children Birth Cohort

Daisy C. P. Crick, Sarah Halligan, Laura Howe, Rebecca Lacey, Golam Khandaker, David Burgner, Annie Herbert, Matthew Suderman, Emma Anderson, Abigail Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Background

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with increased risk of non-communicable diseases in adulthood, potentially mediated by chronic low-grade inflammation. Glycoprotein acetyls (GlycA) is a marker of chronic and cumulative inflammation. We investigated associations between ACEs and GlycA at different ages, in two generations of the population-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort.
Methods

ALSPAC offspring’s total ACE scores were generated for two age periods using prospectively collected data: 0-7y and 0-17y. GlycA was measured using high-resolution proton nuclear magnetic resonance at mean ages 8y, 18y, and 24y. Sample sizes ranged from: n=5116 (8y) to n=3085 (24y). ALSPAC mothers (n=4634) retrospectively reported ACEs experienced before age 18y and GlycA was assessed at mean age 49y. We used multivariable linear regression to estimate associations between ACEs (total ACE score and individual ACEs) and subsequent GlycA in both samples, adjusting for key confounders.
Results

Mean GlycA levels were similar in offspring and mothers and over time. In offspring, there was no evidence that ACEs (total score or individual ACE) were associated with GlycA at age 8y or 18y, or 24y after adjustment for maternal age at birth and parity, maternal marital status, household occupational social class, maternal education, maternal smoking, own ethnicity, sex, and age in months. In mothers, there was evidence of a positive association between the total ACE score and GlycA at age 49y (adjusted mean difference 0.007 mmol/L; 95%CI: 0.003, 0.01). Emotional neglect was the only individual ACE associated with higher GlycA after adjusting for confounders and other ACEs.
Conclusion

Results suggest the association between ACEs and GlycA may emerge in middle age. Future research should explore the extent to which inflammation in adulthood mediates well-documented associations between ACEs and adverse health outcomes in later life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-120
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Behavior and Immunity
Volume100
Early online date15 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • ALSPAC
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Biomarker
  • Cohort study
  • Glycoprotein acetyls
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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