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DNAmFitAge: Biological Age Indicator Incorporating Physical Fitness



June 7, 2023

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  • Aging-US published this trending research paper on February 22, 2023, in Volume 15, Issue 10, entitled, “DNAmFitAge: biological age indicator incorporating physical fitness" by researchers from the Department of Biostatistics, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Research Institute of Sport Science, University of Physical Education, Budapest, Hungary; San Diego Institute of Science, Altos Labs, San Diego, CA; Department of Epidemiology and Butler Columbia Aging Center, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY; Department of Cancer Epidemiology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI; Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, Institute of Genetics and Cancer, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK; Longitudinal Studies Section, Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD; Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland; Department of Forensic Genetics, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland; Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland; Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland; Central Forensic Laboratory of the Police, Warsaw, Poland; Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; Lothian Birth Cohorts, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, UK; Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. DOI - Corresponding authors - Kristen M. McGreevy -, Zsolt Radak -, and Steve Horvath - Abstract Physical fitness is a well-known correlate of health and the aging process and DNA methylation (DNAm) data can capture aging via epigenetic clocks. However, current epigenetic clocks did not yet use measures of mobility, strength, lung, or endurance fitness in their construction. We develop blood-based DNAm biomarkers for fitness parameters gait speed (walking speed), maximum handgrip strength, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) which have modest correlation with fitness parameters in five large-scale validation datasets (average r between 0.16–0.48). We then use these DNAm fitness parameter biomarkers with DNAmGrimAge, a DNAm mortality risk estimate, to construct DNAmFitAge, a new biological age indicator that incorporates physical fitness. DNAmFitAge is associated with low-intermediate physical activity levels across validation datasets (p = 6.4E-13), and younger/fitter DNAmFitAge corresponds to stronger DNAm fitness parameters in both males and females. DNAmFitAge is lower (p = 0.046) and DNAmVO2max is higher (p = 0.023) in male body builders compared to controls. Physically fit people have a younger DNAmFitAge and experience better age-related outcomes: lower mortality risk (p = 7.2E-51), coronary heart disease risk (p = 2.6E-8), and increased disease-free status (p = 1.1E-7). These new DNAm biomarkers provide researchers a new method to incorporate physical fitness into epigenetic clocks. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Subscribe for free publication alerts from Aging - Keywords - aging, epigenetics, physical fitness, biological age, DNA methylation About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

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