DNA methylation age is associated with mortality in a longitudinal Danish twin study.

Published

Journal Article

An epigenetic profile defining the DNA methylation age (DNAm age) of an individual has been suggested to be a biomarker of aging, and thus possibly providing a tool for assessment of health and mortality. In this study, we estimated the DNAm age of 378 Danish twins, age 30-82 years, and furthermore included a 10-year longitudinal study of the 86 oldest-old twins (mean age of 86.1 at follow-up), which subsequently were followed for mortality for 8 years. We found that the DNAm age is highly correlated with chronological age across all age groups (r = 0.97), but that the rate of change of DNAm age decreases with age. The results may in part be explained by selective mortality of those with a high DNAm age. This hypothesis was supported by a classical survival analysis showing a 35% (4-77%) increased mortality risk for each 5-year increase in the DNAm age vs. chronological age. Furthermore, the intrapair twin analysis revealed a more-than-double mortality risk for the DNAm oldest twin compared to the co-twin and a 'dose-response pattern' with the odds of dying first increasing 3.2 (1.05-10.1) times per 5-year DNAm age difference within twin pairs, thus showing a stronger association of DNAm age with mortality in the oldest-old when controlling for familial factors. In conclusion, our results support that DNAm age qualifies as a biomarker of aging.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Christiansen, L; Lenart, A; Tan, Q; Vaupel, JW; Aviv, A; McGue, M; Christensen, K

Published Date

  • February 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 149 - 154

PubMed ID

  • 26594032

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26594032

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1474-9726

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1474-9718

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/acel.12421

Language

  • eng