Epigenome-wide association study for perceived discrimination among sub-Saharan African migrants in Europe - the RODAM study

Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 18;10(1):4919. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-61649-0.


Sub-Saharan African (SSA) migrants in Europe experience psychosocial stressors, such as perceived discrimination (PD). The effect of such a stressor on health could potentially be mediated via epigenetics. In this study we performed an epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) to assess the association between levels of PD with genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in SSA migrants. The Illumina 450 K DNA-methylation array was used on whole blood samples of 340 Ghanaian adults residing in three European cities from the cross-sectional Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM) study. PD was assessed using sum scores of the Everyday Discrimination Scale (EDS). Differentially methylated positions and regions (DMPs and DMRs) were identified through linear regression analysis. Two hypo-methylated DMPs, namely cg13986138 (CYFIP1) and cg10316525(ANKRD63), were found to be associated with PD. DMR analysis identified 47 regions associated with the PD. To the best of our knowledge, this survey is the first EWAS for PD in first generation SSA migrants. We identified two DMPs associated with PD. Whether these associations underlie a consequence or causal effect within the scope of biological functionality needs additional research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Black People / genetics*
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Epigenomics* / methods
  • Female
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Transients and Migrants
  • White People / genetics*