Accelerated DNA methylation age and the use of antihypertensive medication among older adults

Xu Gao*, Elena Colicino, Jincheng Shen, Allan C. Just, Jamaji C. Nwanaji-Enwerem, Brent Coull, Xihong Lin, Pantel Vokonas, Yinan Zheng, Lifang Hou, Joel Schwartz, Andrea A. Baccarelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The discrepancy of DNA methylation age (DNAmAge) with chronological age (termed as age acceleration, AA) has been identified to be associated with many aging-related health outcomes including hypertension. Since taking antihypertensive medication (AHM) could prevent aging-related diseases caused by hypertension, we hypothesized that using AHM could also reduce the AA. We examined this hypothesis among 546 males aged 55-85 years by exploring the associations of AHM use with AA and its change rate (ΔAA) in two visits with a median follow-up of 3.86 years. Horvath DNAmAge was derived from DNA methylation profiles measured by Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip and information on AHM use was collected by physician interview. A general decreasing pattern of AA was observed between the two visits. After the fully adjusting for potential covariates including hypertension, any AHM use showed a cross-sectional significant association with higher AA at each visit, as well as a longitudinal association with increased ΔAA between visits. Particularly, relative to participants who never took any AHM, individuals with continuous AHM use had a higher ΔAA of 0.6 year/chronological year. This finding underlines that DNAmAge and AA may not be able to capture the preventive effects of AHMs that reduce cardiovascular risks and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3210-3228
Number of pages19
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Aging
  • Antihypertensive medication
  • DNA methylation age
  • Epigenetic epidemiology
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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