Social disadvantage, genetic sensitivity, and children's telomere length.

TitleSocial disadvantage, genetic sensitivity, and children's telomere length.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMitchell, C, Hobcraft, J, McLanahan, SS, Siegel, SRutherford, Berg, A, Brooks-Gunn, J, Garfinkel, I, Notterman, D
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Volume111
Issue16
Pagination5944-9
Date Published2014 Apr 22
ISSN1091-6490
KeywordsAdult, Child, Dopamine, Gene-Environment Interaction, Humans, Male, Regression Analysis, Serotonin, Signal Transduction, Social Environment, Telomere Homeostasis, Vulnerable Populations
Abstract

<p>Disadvantaged social environments are associated with adverse health outcomes. This has been attributed, in part, to chronic stress. Telomere length (TL) has been used as a biomarker of chronic stress: TL is shorter in adults in a variety of contexts, including disadvantaged social standing and depression. We use data from 40, 9-y-old boys participating in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to extend this observation to African American children. We report that exposure to disadvantaged environments is associated with reduced TL by age 9 y. We document significant associations between low income, low maternal education, unstable family structure, and harsh parenting and TL. These effects were moderated by genetic variants in serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways. Consistent with the differential susceptibility hypothesis, subjects with the highest genetic sensitivity scores had the shortest TL when exposed to disadvantaged social environments and the longest TL when exposed to advantaged environments.</p>

DOI10.1073/pnas.1404293111
Alternate JournalProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PubMed ID24711381
PubMed Central IDPMC4000782
Grant ListR01 HD036916 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD076592 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD076592 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01HD36916 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01HD39135 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01HD40421 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R24 HD058486 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
TL1 TR00012503 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
UL1 TR000127 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States