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Eleven Telomere, Epigenetic Clock, and Biomarker-Composite Quantifications of Biological Aging: Do They Measure the Same Thing?

Publication ,  Journal Article
Belsky, DW; Moffitt, TE; Cohen, AA; Corcoran, DL; Levine, ME; Prinz, JA; Schaefer, J; Sugden, K; Williams, B; Poulton, R; Caspi, A
Published in: American journal of epidemiology
June 2018

The geroscience hypothesis posits that therapies to slow biological processes of aging can prevent disease and extend healthy years of life. To test such "geroprotective" therapies in humans, outcome measures are needed that can assess extension of disease-free life span. This need has spurred development of different methods to quantify biological aging. But different methods have not been systematically compared in the same humans. We implemented 7 methods to quantify biological aging using repeated-measures physiological and genomic data in 964 middle-aged humans in the Dunedin Study (New Zealand; persons born 1972-1973). We studied 11 measures in total: telomere-length and erosion, 3 epigenetic-clocks and their ticking rates, and 3 biomarker-composites. Contrary to expectation, we found low agreement between different measures of biological aging. We next compared associations between biological aging measures and outcomes that geroprotective therapies seek to modify: physical functioning, cognitive decline, and subjective signs of aging, including aged facial appearance. The 71-cytosine-phosphate-guanine epigenetic clock and biomarker composites were consistently related to these aging-related outcomes. However, effect sizes were modest. Results suggested that various proposed approaches to quantifying biological aging may not measure the same aspects of the aging process. Further systematic evaluation and refinement of measures of biological aging is needed to furnish outcomes for geroprotector trials.

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Published In

American journal of epidemiology

DOI

EISSN

1476-6256

ISSN

0002-9262

Publication Date

June 2018

Volume

187

Issue

6

Start / End Page

1220 / 1230

Related Subject Headings

  • Telomere Homeostasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Biomarkers
  • Biological Clocks
  • Aging
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
NLM
Belsky, D. W., Moffitt, T. E., Cohen, A. A., Corcoran, D. L., Levine, M. E., Prinz, J. A., … Caspi, A. (2018). Eleven Telomere, Epigenetic Clock, and Biomarker-Composite Quantifications of Biological Aging: Do They Measure the Same Thing? American Journal of Epidemiology, 187(6), 1220–1230. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwx346
Belsky, Daniel W., Terrie E. Moffitt, Alan A. Cohen, David L. Corcoran, Morgan E. Levine, Joseph A. Prinz, Jonathan Schaefer, et al. “Eleven Telomere, Epigenetic Clock, and Biomarker-Composite Quantifications of Biological Aging: Do They Measure the Same Thing?American Journal of Epidemiology 187, no. 6 (June 2018): 1220–30. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwx346.
Belsky DW, Moffitt TE, Cohen AA, Corcoran DL, Levine ME, Prinz JA, et al. Eleven Telomere, Epigenetic Clock, and Biomarker-Composite Quantifications of Biological Aging: Do They Measure the Same Thing? American journal of epidemiology. 2018 Jun;187(6):1220–30.
Belsky, Daniel W., et al. “Eleven Telomere, Epigenetic Clock, and Biomarker-Composite Quantifications of Biological Aging: Do They Measure the Same Thing?American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 187, no. 6, June 2018, pp. 1220–30. Epmc, doi:10.1093/aje/kwx346.
Belsky DW, Moffitt TE, Cohen AA, Corcoran DL, Levine ME, Prinz JA, Schaefer J, Sugden K, Williams B, Poulton R, Caspi A. Eleven Telomere, Epigenetic Clock, and Biomarker-Composite Quantifications of Biological Aging: Do They Measure the Same Thing? American journal of epidemiology. 2018 Jun;187(6):1220–1230.
Journal cover image

Published In

American journal of epidemiology

DOI

EISSN

1476-6256

ISSN

0002-9262

Publication Date

June 2018

Volume

187

Issue

6

Start / End Page

1220 / 1230

Related Subject Headings

  • Telomere Homeostasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Biomarkers
  • Biological Clocks
  • Aging