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Title: Maternal biological age assessed in early pregnancy is associated with gestational age at birth.

Authors: Lancaster, Eva E; Lapato, Dana M; Jackson-Cook, Colleen; Strauss 3rd, Jerome F; Roberson-Nay, Roxann; York, Timothy P

Published In Sci Rep, (2021 07 29)

Abstract: Maternal age is an established predictor of preterm birth independent of other recognized risk factors. The use of chronological age makes the assumption that individuals age at a similar rate. Therefore, it does not capture interindividual differences that may exist due to genetic background and environmental exposures. As a result, there is a need to identify biomarkers that more closely index the rate of cellular aging. One potential candidate is biological age (BA) estimated by the DNA methylome. This study investigated whether maternal BA, estimated in either early and/or late pregnancy, predicts gestational age at birth. BA was estimated from a genome-wide DNA methylation platform using the Horvath algorithm. Linear regression methods assessed the relationship between BA and pregnancy outcomes, including gestational age at birth and prenatal perceived stress, in a primary and replication cohort. Prenatal BA estimates from early pregnancy explained variance in gestational age at birth above and beyond the influence of other recognized preterm birth risk factors. Sensitivity analyses indicated that this signal was driven primarily by self-identified African American participants. This predictive relationship was sensitive to small variations in the BA estimation algorithm. Benefits and limitations of using BA in translational research and clinical applications for preterm birth are considered.

PubMed ID: 34326348 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

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