School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

Heterogeneity of increased biological age in type 2 diabetes correlates with differential tissue DNA methylation, biological variables, and pharmacological treatments

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Biological age (BA) closely depicts age-related changes at a cellular level. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) accelerates BA when calculated using clinical biomarkers, but there is a large spread in the magnitude of individuals' age acceleration in T2D suggesting additional factors contributing to BA. Additionally, it is unknown whether BA can be changed with treatment. We hypothesized that potential determinants of the heterogeneous BA distribution in T2D could be due to differential tissue aging as reflected at the DNA methylation (DNAm) level, or biological variables and their respective therapeutic treatments. Publicly available DNAm samples were obtained to calculate BA using the DNAm phenotypic age (DNAmPhenoAge) algorithm. DNAmPhenoAge showed age acceleration in T2D samples of whole blood, pancreatic islets, and liver, but not in adipose tissue or skeletal muscle. Analysis of genes associated with differentially methylated CpG sites found a significant correlation between eight individual CpG methylation sites and gene expression. Clinical biomarkers from participants in the NHANES 2017-2018 and ACCORD cohorts were used to calculate BA using the Klemera and Doubal (KDM) method. Cardiovascular and glycemic biomarkers associated with increased BA while intensive blood pressure and glycemic management reduced BA to CA levels, demonstrating that accelerated BA can be restored in the setting of T2D.


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medical student