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Neighborhood Environment, Social Cohesion, and Epigenetic Aging

Citation

Martin, Chantel L.; Ward-Caviness, Cavin K.; Dhingra, Radhika; Zikry, Tarek M.; Galea, Sandro; Wildman, Derek E.; Koenen, Karestan C.; Uddin, Monica; & Aiello, Allison E. (2021). Neighborhood Environment, Social Cohesion, and Epigenetic Aging. Aging, 13(6), 7883-7899. PMCID: PMC8034890

Abstract

Living in adverse neighborhood environments has been linked to risk of aging-related diseases and mortality; however, the biological mechanisms explaining this observation remain poorly understood. DNA methylation (DNAm), a proposed mechanism and biomarker of biological aging responsive to environmental stressors, offers promising insight into potential molecular pathways. We examined associations between three neighborhood social environment measures (poverty, quality, and social cohesion) and three epigenetic clocks (Horvath, Hannum, and PhenoAge) using data from the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study (n=158). Using linear regression models, we evaluated associations in the total sample and stratified by sex and social cohesion. Neighborhood quality was associated with accelerated DNAm aging for Horvath age acceleration (β = 1.8; 95% CI: 0.4, 3.1), Hannum age acceleration (β = 1.7; 95% CI: 0.4, 3.0), and PhenoAge acceleration (β = 2.1; 95% CI: 0.4, 3.8). In models stratified on social cohesion, associations of neighborhood poverty and quality with accelerated DNAm aging remained elevated for residents living in neighborhoods with lower social cohesion, but were null for those living in neighborhoods with higher social cohesion. Our study suggests that living in adverse neighborhood environments can speed up epigenetic aging, while positive neighborhood attributes may buffer effects.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202814

Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type

Regular

Year Published

2021

Journal Title

Aging

Author(s)

Martin, Chantel L.
Ward-Caviness, Cavin K.
Dhingra, Radhika
Zikry, Tarek M.
Galea, Sandro
Wildman, Derek E.
Koenen, Karestan C.
Uddin, Monica
Aiello, Allison E.

PMCID

PMC8034890

Data Set/Study

Detroit Neighborhood Health Study (DNHS)

Continent/Country

United States of America

State

Michigan