Abstract 24: Prenatal Socioeconomic Position is Associated with Adipose Tissue DNA Methylation in Women and Not Men
RATIONALE: Adiposity is a major cardiovascular risk factor, suggesting an important role for adipose tissue in development of cardiovascular outcomes. There is evidence that early life adversity has a lasting impact on the development of adiposity, particularly in women. In utero exposure to famine was related to adulthood adiposity in women but not men, and associations between early life socioeconomic adversity and adulthood adiposity is established in women but less so in men. There is interest in epigenetic mechanisms by which early life adversity may program risk for adiposity, and utilizing directly affected tissue such as adipose tissue is ideal for investigating such mechanisms.
Objective: To determine whether prenatally-assessed socioeconomic index (SEI) is associated with adulthood genome-wide DNA methylation in blood and adipose tissue, and whether associations differ between men and women.
Methods: Participants (aged 44-50 y) were from the New England Family Study birth cohort, born in Providence, RI. Of 400 participants assessed during 2010-2011, a representative subsample of 106 participants (68 women, 38 men) was selected for DNA methylation analyses. SEI was measured prenatally as a composite numerical score, using a weighted percentile of both parents’ educational attainment, occupation, and income relative to the US population. DNA methylation in subcutaneous adipose tissue and peripheral blood leukocytes was evaluated using the Infinium HumanMethylation450K BeadChip.
Results: Prenatal SEI was associated with adipose tissue DNA methylation in women (permutation-based omnibus p-values <0.001), but not men or the pooled sample. Associations in women were not attenuated after adjustment for race, current smoking, or mother’s smoking during pregnancy. Prenatal SEI was not related to blood DNA methylation.
Conclusion: Results provide mechanistic insight on the association between early life adversity and adulthood adiposity, which is seen mainly in women.
Author Disclosures: G. Agha: None. A.E. Houseman: None. K.T. Kelsey: None. C.B. Eaton: None. S.L. Buka: None. E.B. Loucks: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.