DNA methylation GrimAge acceleration in US military veterans with PTSD.
Additional Document Info
Epigenetic alterations in DNA methylation might mediate gene expression effects of trauma underlying PTSD symptoms, or effects of PTSD on related health problems. PTSD is associated with all-cause morbidity and premature mortality, suggesting accelerated biological aging. We measured genome-wide DNA methylation (Illumina MethylationEPIC BeadChip) in whole blood in a treatment study for combat-related PTSD - "PROGrESS", a multisite RCT comparing sertraline plus enhanced medication management (SERT+EMM), prolonged exposure (PE) therapy plus placebo (PE+PLB), and the combination (SERT+PE). DNA methylation was measured in 140 US military veterans who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan (112 current PTSD cases enrolled in a PTSD treatment study and 28 veterans without PTSD history controls), and also 59 non-trauma exposed controls at baseline posttreatment (24 weeks after baseline). Increased DNA methylation GrimAge acceleration (p=8.8e-09) was observed in patients with PTSD compared to a pooled control group (trauma exposed and non-trauma exposed), suggesting a higher risk of premature mortality in those with PTSD. There was no difference in GrimAge acceleration between combat trauma and non-trauma exposed controls. No treatment-related changes in GrimAge acceleration were found in within-subject comparisons of PTSD patients pre- to post-treatment.