Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Biomarkers of aging and lung function in the normative aging study.

Authors: Wang, Cuicui; Just, Allan; Heiss, Jonathan; Coull, Brent A; Hou, Lifang; Zheng, Yinan; Sparrow, David; Vokonas, Pantel S; Baccarelli, Andrea; Schwartz, Joel

Published In Aging (Albany NY), (2020 06 19)

Abstract: Elderly individuals who are never smokers but have the same height and chronological age can have substantial differences in lung function. The underlying biological mechanisms are unclear. To evaluate the associations of different biomarkers of aging (BoA) and lung function, we performed a repeated-measures analysis in the Normative Aging Study using linear mixed-effect models. We generated GrimAgeAccel, PhenoAgeAccel, extrinsic and intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration using a publically available online calculator. We calculated Zhang's DNAmRiskScore based on 10 CpGs. We measured telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN) using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. A pulmonary function test was performed measuring forced expiratory volume in 1 second / forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC), FEV1, and maximum mid-expiratory flow (MMEF). Epigenetic-based BoA were associated with lower lung function. For example, a one-year increase in GrimAgeAccel was associated with a 13.64 mL [95% confidence interval (CI), 5.11 to 22.16] decline in FEV1; a 0.2 increase in Zhang's DNAmRiskScore was associated with a 0.009 L/s (0.005 to 0.013) reduction in MMEF. No association was found between TL/mtDNA-CN and lung function. Overall, this paper shows that epigenetics might be a potential mechanism underlying pulmonary dysfunction in the elderly.

PubMed ID: 32561690 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Aging/genetics*; Biomarkers/analysis; DNA, Mitochondrial/genetics; Epigenesis, Genetic/physiology*; Female; Forced Expiratory Volume/genetics; Gene Dosage; Humans; Linear Models; Lung/physiology*; Male; Maximal Midexpiratory Flow Rate/genetics; Middle Aged; Models, Genetic*; Telomere Homeostasis/physiology; Vital Capacity/genetics

to Top