Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute
Flinders University. Grant Number: Research Co-investment Strategy / National Health and Medical Research Council / Raine Medical Research Foundation
NHMRC Numbers : 003209, 1059711, 211912, 353514, 403981
Aim: Investigate if childhood measures of sleep health are associated with epigenetic age acceleration in late adolescence. Methods: Parent-reported sleep trajectories from age 5 to 17, self-reported sleep problems at age 17, and six measures of epigenetic age acceleration at age 17 were studied in 1192 young Australians from the Raine Study Gen2. Results: There was no evidence for a relationship between the parent-reported sleep trajectories and epigenetic age acceleration (p ≥ 0.17). There was a positive cross-sectional relationship between self-reported sleep problem score and intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration at age 17 (b = 0.14, p = 0.04), which was attenuated after controlling for depressive symptom score at the same age (b = 0.08, p = 0.34). Follow-up analyses suggested this finding may represent greater overtiredness and intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration in adolescents with higher depressive symptoms. Conclusion: There was no evidence for a relationship between self- or parent-reported sleep health and epigenetic age acceleration in late adolescence after adjusting for depressive symptoms. Mental health should be considered as a potential confounding variable in future research on sleep and epigenetic age acceleration, particularly if subjective measures of sleep are used.
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