Statistical and Conceptual Considerations in Socioepigenomics Research on Childhood Adversity and Epigenetic Aging

Erin C Dunn, Andrew J Simpkin, Esther Walton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

Applications of epigenetic clocks to health questions have proliferated over the past decade, particularly as a means of understanding disease etiology. Epigenetic clocks are aggregate biological markers associated with aging that are derived from DNA methylation (and sometimes trained on other health measures, including mortality) and provide a biological indicator associated with accelerated or decelerated aging. Over the last 10 years, these clocks have been increasingly applied as outcome measures in studies of childhood adversity and other early life stressors, with the goal of investigating whether divergent biological aging may be a pathway explaining long-term health outcomes associated with adversity. If supported by empirical evidence, this knowledge may pave the way to personalized clinical care for people with histories of childhood adversity. It may also lead to population-level efforts for risk stratification so that public health interventions may be targeted to groups most in need.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2317958
Number of pages3
JournalJAMA Network Open
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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