An older subjective age is related to accelerated epigenetic aging

Psychol Aging. 2021 Sep;36(6):767-772. doi: 10.1037/pag0000607. Epub 2021 May 6.


The present study examined the prospective association between subjective age and epigenetic clock in 2,253 adults (Mean age = 67.40, SD = 8.17) from the Health and Retirement Study. Subjective age and demographic factors were assessed in 2008/2010 and epigenetic clock was assessed in 2016 using the DNA methylation (DNAm) PhenoAge. Regression analysis revealed that an older subjective age was associated with accelerated epigenetic aging; mediation analysis revealed that self-rated health and CRP accounted for this association. The findings indicate that individuals who feel older than their chronological age are biologically older, in part because of their perceived health and inflammatory profiles. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Attitude*
  • Biological Clocks / genetics*
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • Emotions*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Male
  • Retirement
  • Self Report