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Abstract: TH-PO503

Association Between Epigenetic Age Acceleration at Extremely Preterm Birth and Systolic Blood Pressure in Adolescence

Session Information

  • Pediatric Nephrology - I
    November 02, 2023 | Location: Exhibit Hall, Pennsylvania Convention Center
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Category: Pediatric Nephrology

  • 1900 Pediatric Nephrology

Authors

  • Gerber, Anisha R., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
  • Roell, Kyle R., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
  • Huff, Katelyn, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
  • O'Shea, Michael, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
  • Fry, Rebecca, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
  • Sanderson, Keia, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Background

Epigenetic age deviation from chronologic age is associated with poor cardiovascular (CV) outcomes in adults. No studies have evaluated this association in children born preterm, who are at risk for advanced epigenetic gestational age (eGA) and poor CV outcomes. Our objective was to examine the association between epigenetic gestational age acceleration (eGAA) and adolescent systolic blood pressure (SBP) in individuals born extremely preterm.

Methods

This is a secondary analysis of the Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn study. Participants were born <28 weeks’ gestation and had placental DNA quantification at birth and 3 manual blood pressures measured during follow up at 15-17 years old. eGA was estimated using the Robust Placental Clock (RPC). eGAA was calculated as residuals from a linear regression of predicted RPC eGA on chronologic gestational age (GA). Mixed effects models were fit to assess association between eGAA and average adolescent SBP. A minimally sufficient adjustment set, identified using a directed acyclic graph, included maternal factors (health insurance, years of education, marital status, prenatal smoking, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2, diabetes, hypertension) and birth weight for GA.

Results

202 study participants had data for eGA and adolescent SBP. 34% had elevated SBP > 120mmHg, and 52.6% were male. 67% with elevated SBP were male, 27.8% had mothers with hypertension, and 25% had mothers with BMI > 30 kg/m2. In the overall sample, we found no association between eGAA and adolescent SBP (p=0.539). When stratified by sex, for every 1 week acceleration in eGA, adolescent males had an increase of 3.32mmHg in SBP (p=0.04; Table 1).

Conclusion

Epigenetic gestational age acceleration at birth is associated with significant increase in SBP in adolescent males but not females who were born extremely preterm. The kidney is key in regulating blood pressure, so future research includes evaluating kidney-specific epigenetic changes at preterm birth and CV outcomes.

Table 1. Association between eGAA and adolescent SBP by sex
 Coefficient95% CI
Males, unadjusted2.296-0.71, 5.303
Males, adjusted3.3200.197, 6.444
Females, unadjusted-1.122-3.186, 0.943
Females, adjusted-1.002-3.068, 1.006

Funding

  • NIDDK Support