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What is your epigenetic age?

Lucina was fascinated to discover that she had an epigenetic clock; we all have one! Horvath S (Genome Biology Genome Biology 2013, 14:R115) proposed that your DNA methylation age, measures the cumulative effect of your epigenetic maintenance system. The suggestion is that this concept of an epigenetic clock can be used to tackle questions in ageing research and is seen to be related to your biological age (which is of course different form your chronological age). Van Lieshout RJ et al (Pediatrics 2021;147:e2020001230) have used the Horvath’s 353-CpG site epigenetic-clock assay to provide an estimate of biological age in a cohort of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) (<1000 g) survivors. They compared biological ageing in this group in a sample of matched normal birth weight (NBW) (>2500 g) control participants. Buccal cells were collected from 45 ELBW survivors and 49 NBW control participants at 30 to 35 years of age. Epigenetic age was calculated from the weighted average of DNA methylation at 353 cytosine-phosphate-guanine sequence within DNA sites. A significant sex by birth weight group interaction was observed in the 353-site epigenetic-clock assay (p=0.03), whereby ELBW men had a significantly older epigenetic age than NBW men (4.6 years; p=0.01). Women born at ELBW …

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