Long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with biological aging

Cavin K. Ward-Caviness, Jamaji C. Nwanaji-Enwerem, Kathrin Wolf, Simone Wahl, Elena Colicino, Letizia Trevisi, Itai Kloog, Allan C. Just, Pantel Vokonas, Josef Cyrys, Christian Gieger, Joel Schwartz, Andrea A. Baccarelli, Alexandra Schneider, Annette Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with age-related diseases. We explored the association between accelerated biological aging and air pollution, a potential mechanism linking air pollution and health. We estimated long-term exposure to PM10, PM2.5, PM2.5 absorbance/black carbon (BC), and NOx via landuse regression models in individuals from the KORA F4 cohort. Accelerated biological aging was assessed using telomere length (TeloAA) and three epigenetic measures: DNA methylation age acceleration (DNAmAA), extrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (correlated with immune cell counts, EEAA), and intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (independent of immune cell counts, IEAA). We also investigated sexspecific associations between air pollution and biological aging, given the published association between sex and aging measures. In KORA an interquartile range (0.97 μg/m3) increase in PM2.5 was associated with a 0.33 y increase in EEAA (CI = 0.01, 0.64; P = 0.04). BC and NOx (indicators or traffic exposure) were associated with DNAmAA and IEAA in women, while TeloAA was inversely associated with BC in men. We replicated this inverse BC-TeloAA association in the Normative Aging Study, a male cohort based in the USA. A multiple phenotype analysis in KORA F4 combining all aging measures showed that BC and PM10 were broadly associated with biological aging in men. Thus, we conclude that long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with biological aging measures, potentially in a sex-specific manner. However, many of the associations were relatively weak and further replication of overall and sexspecific associations is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74510-74525
Number of pages16
JournalOncotarget
Volume7
Issue number46
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Biological aging
  • Black carbon
  • Epigenetic aging
  • Gerotarget
  • Telomere length

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