Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Socioeconomic Factors, Pollution Influence Epigenetic Aging Among Black Americans

Socioeconomic status, increased neighborhood deprivation, and air pollution influence epigenetic aging among Black Americans, according to a new study appearing in PLOS One. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania examined the contributions the social environment makes to racial disparities in aging, as gauged by differences in DNA methylation. In a cohort of 2,960 non-Hispanic participants from the Health and Retirement Study, 82 percent of whom were white and 18 percent of whom were Black, the researchers found Black participants had accelerated epigenetic aging on the GrimAge and Dunedin Pace of Aging measures. Through multivariable linear regression models and decomposition analyses, the researchers found that individual-level socioeconomic status accounts for a large portion of the aging disparities they observed, as do neighborhood-level deprivation and air pollution. "Eliminating disparities in biological aging, or weathering, would greatly reduce the persistent and pervasive disparities in health between aging Black and White Americans," the researchers write. "It is crucial to identify the factors contributing to weathering and to take action to address them."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.