Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Exposure to tobacco smoke in early life is associated with accelerated biological ageing


News Release 25-Aug-2021
A new study analyses the association between more than 100 environmental exposures and the ‘epigenetic clock’ of over 1,000 children in six European countries
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)


Accelerated biological ageing is associated with exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and early childhood, as well as with indoor exposure to black carbon. These are the conclusions of an analysis led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by the ”la Caixa” Foundation, the first to evaluate associations between a large number of early-life environmental exposures and epigenetic age in children.

Exposure to environmental factors during pregnancy and early childhood can significantly – and sometimes irreversibly – alter our metabolism and physiology, thereby determining our health status later in life. It can also accelerate the process of biological ageing, which has been associated with a higher risk of metabolic, cardiovascular or neurodegenerative diseases. At the cellular level, ageing is a continuous process that starts early in life, and which can be measured thanks to of epigenetic clocks. Epigenetic clocks use the levels of DNA methylation in certain regions of the genome to infer biological aging of a person.


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