Superfund Research Program
NIEHS-funded researchers with the Columbia University SRP Center identified metals that were associated with biological age acceleration, where exposure may be a risk factor for aging-related diseases in Native American communities. Although metal exposure may speed age acceleration, exposures are preventable, and the authors findings provide an additional strategy to prevent premature mortality.
To capture aging processes before disease develops, the authors used a new class of measures called epigenetic clocks, which integrate chemical modifications to a person’s DNA with machine learning algorithms. The scientists used five different epigenetic clocks that collectively measure health, mortality, and chronological aging to estimate biological aging in participants from 12 tribes from the southwest and the Great Plains.
To learn more, see the NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month.