Lind L, Ingelsson E, Sundström J, Siegbahn A, Lampa E
Eur J Clin Invest - (-) e12872 [2017-12-27; online 2017-12-27]
DNA methylation changes over life at specific sites in the genome, which can be used to estimate "biological age." The aim of this population-based longitudinal cohort study was to investigate the association between estimated biological age and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD). Based on formulas published by Hannum et al and Horvath et al, "biological age" was calculated using data from the Illumina 450k Bead Methylation chip in 832 participants free from cardiovascular disease in the Prospective Study of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study (50% women, all aged 70 years at the examination). The difference between estimated biological and chronological age was calculated (DiffAge). During 10 years of follow-up, 153 incident cases of cardiovascular disease occurred. In the sex-adjusted analyses, the Horvath estimation of DiffAge was significantly related to incident cardiovascular disease (HR 1.040, 95% CI 1.010-1.071, P = .0079). Thus, for each year of increased biological age, a 4% increased risk of future cardiovascular disease was observed. This relationship was still significant following adjustment for the traditional risk factors sex, BMI, diabetes, HDL and LDL-cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and smoking (HR 1.033, 95% CI 1.004-1.063, P = .024). No such significant association was found using the Hannum formula. DNA methylation-based estimation of "biological age" per Horvath was associated with incident cardiovascular disease.