Priyanka Choudhary
Giulietta S. Monasso
Ville Karhunen
Justiina Ronkainen
Giulia Mancano
Caitlin G. Howe
Zhongzheng Niu
Xuehuo Zeng
Weihua Guan
John Dou
Jason I. Feinberg
Charles Mordaunt
Giancarlo Pesce
Nour Baïz
Rossella Alfano
Dries S. Martens
Congrong Wang
Elena Isaevska
Elina Keikkala
Sanna Mustaniemi
Chris H. L. Thio
Eliza Fraszczyk
Elmar W. Tobi
Anne P. Starling
Marta Cosin-Tomas
Jose Urquiza
Stefan Röder
Thanh T. Hoang
Christian Page
Dereje D. Jima
John S. House
Rachel L. Maguire
Raffael Ott
Xenia Pawlow
Lea Sirignano
Lea Zillich
Anni Malmberg
Sebastian Rauschert
Phillip Melton
Tong Gong
Robert Karlsson
Ruby Fore
Wei Perng
Zachary M. Laubach
Darina Czamara
Gemma Sharp
Carrie V. Breton
Enrique Schisterman
Edwina Yeung
Sunni L. Mumford
M. Daniele Fallin
Janine M. LaSalle
Rebecca J. Schmidt
Kelly M. Bakulski
Isabella Annesi-Maesano
Barbara Heude
Tim S. Nawrot
Michelle Plusquin
Akram Ghantous
Zdenko Herceg
Lorenza Nisticò
Marina Vafeiadi
Manolis Kogevinas
Marja Vääräsmäki
Eero Kajantie
Harold Snieder
Eva Corpeleijn
Regine P. M. Steegers-Theunissen
Ivana V. Yang
Dana Dabelea
Serena Fossati
Ana C. Zenclussen
Gunda Herberth
Maria Magnus
Siri E. Håberg
Stephanie J. London
Monica C. Munthe-Kaas
Susan K. Murphy
Cathrine Hoyo
Anette-G Ziegler
Sandra Hummel
Stephanie H. Witt
Fabian Streit
Josef Frank
Katri Räikkönen
Jari Lahti
Rae-chi Huang, Edith Cowan University
Catarina Almqvist
Marie-France Hivert
Vincent W. V. Jaddoe
Marjo-Riitta Järvelin
Marko Kantomaa
Janine F. Felix
Sylvain Sebert

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Molecular Psychiatry

PubMed ID





School of Medical and Health Sciences




European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program / Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu (including Oulu University Hospital).


Choudhary, P., Monasso, G. S., Karhunen, V., Ronkainen, J., Mancano, G., Howe, C. G., . . . Sebert, S. (2023). Maternal educational attainment in pregnancy and epigenome-wide DNA methylation changes in the offspring from birth until adolescence. Molecular Psychiatry. Advance online publication.


Maternal educational attainment (MEA) shapes offspring health through multiple potential pathways. Differential DNA methylation may provide a mechanistic understanding of these long-term associations. We aimed to quantify the associations of MEA with offspring DNA methylation levels at birth, in childhood and in adolescence. Using 37 studies from high-income countries, we performed meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) to quantify the associations of completed years of MEA at the time of pregnancy with offspring DNA methylation levels at birth (n = 9 881), in childhood (n = 2 017), and adolescence (n = 2 740), adjusting for relevant covariates. MEA was found to be associated with DNA methylation at 473 cytosine-phosphate-guanine sites at birth, one in childhood, and four in adolescence. We observed enrichment for findings from previous EWAS on maternal folate, vitamin-B12 concentrations, maternal smoking, and pre-pregnancy BMI. The associations were directionally consistent with MEA being inversely associated with behaviours including smoking and BMI. Our findings form a bridge between socio-economic factors and biology and highlight potential pathways underlying effects of maternal education. The results broaden our understanding of bio-social associations linked to differential DNA methylation in multiple early stages of life. The data generated also offers an important resource to help a more precise understanding of the social determinants of health.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.