African Americans

Publication Title: 
Annals of Behavioral Medicine: A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine

BACKGROUND: One of the largest health disparities in the USA is in obesity rates between Black and White females. PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the stress-obesity link is stronger in Black females than in White females aged 10-19.

Author(s): 
Tomiyama, A. Janet
Puterman, Eli
Epel, Elissa S.
Rehkopf, David H.
Laraia, Barbara A.
Publication Title: 
Atherosclerosis

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether telomerase activity, measured in circulating blood leukocytes, might be associated with prevalent atherosclerosis, or predict future coronary artery disease risk. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined associations of telomerase activity levels measured at year 15 in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study with prevalent coronary artery calcium (CAC), progressive CAC at year 20, and incident CAC between years 15 and 20, in 440 black and white men aged 33-45 years. Telomere length was also measured in a subset of participants (N=129).

Author(s): 
Kroenke, Candyce H.
Pletcher, Mark J.
Lin, Jue
Blackburn, Elizabeth
Adler, Nancy
Matthews, Karen
Epel, Elissa
Publication Title: 
Social Science & Medicine (1982)

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) - a marker of cell aging that has been linked to stressful life circumstances - in a nationally representative, socioeconomically and ethnically diverse sample of US adults aged 20-84. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2002, we found that respondents who completed less than a high school education had significantly shorter telomeres than those who graduated from college. Income was not associated with LTL.

Author(s): 
Needham, Belinda L.
Adler, Nancy
Gregorich, Steven
Rehkopf, David
Lin, Jue
Blackburn, Elizabeth H.
Epel, Elissa S.
Publication Title: 
Social Science & Medicine (1982)

Theory suggests that chronic stress associated with disadvantaged social status may lead to acceleration in the rate of decline in physiological functioning. The purpose of this study is to examine the association between parental socioeconomic status (SES) and leukocyte telomere length (LTL), a marker of cell aging, in children. We examined SES and LTL in 70 white and black US children aged 7-13 who participated in the community-based AMERICO (Admixture Mapping for Ethnic and Racial Insulin Complex Outcomes) study. LTL was assessed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.

Author(s): 
Needham, Belinda L.
Fernandez, Jose R.
Lin, Jue
Epel, Elissa S.
Blackburn, Elizabeth H.
Publication Title: 
Atherosclerosis

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether telomerase activity, measured in circulating blood leukocytes, might be associated with prevalent atherosclerosis, or predict future coronary artery disease risk. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined associations of telomerase activity levels measured at year 15 in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study with prevalent coronary artery calcium (CAC), progressive CAC at year 20, and incident CAC between years 15 and 20, in 440 black and white men aged 33-45 years. Telomere length was also measured in a subset of participants (N=129).

Author(s): 
Kroenke, Candyce H.
Pletcher, Mark J.
Lin, Jue
Blackburn, Elizabeth
Adler, Nancy
Matthews, Karen
Epel, Elissa
Publication Title: 
Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research

BACKGROUND: Epigenetic regulation through DNA methylation may influence vulnerability to numerous disorders, including alcohol dependence (AD). METHODS: Peripheral blood DNA methylation levels of 384 CpGs in the promoter regions of 82 candidate genes were examined in 285 African Americans (AAs; 141 AD cases and 144 controls) and 249 European Americans (EAs; 144 AD cases and 105 controls) using Illumina GoldenGate Methylation Array assays.

Author(s): 
Zhang, Huiping
Herman, Aryeh I.
Kranzler, Henry R.
Anton, Raymond F.
Zhao, Hongyu
Zheng, Wei
Gelernter, Joel
Publication Title: 
Epigenetics

Epigenetic modifications to peripheral white blood cell DNA occur in response to a wide variety of exposures. In prior work, we and others have shown that broad changes in DNA methylation, particularly at the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor (AHRR) locus, occur in samples from subjects with long histories of smoking. However, given the large number of epigenetic changes that occur in response to prolonged smoking, the primacy of the response at AHRR and the sensitivity of these changes to low levels of smoking are not known.

Author(s): 
Philibert, Robert A.
Beach, Steven R. H.
Brody, Gene H.
Publication Title: 
PloS One

The increased vulnerability to alcohol dependence (AD) seen in individuals with childhood adversity (CA) may result in part from CA-induced epigenetic changes. To examine CA-associated DNA methylation changes in AD patients, we examined peripheral blood DNA methylation levels of 384 CpGs in promoter regions of 82 candidate genes in 279 African Americans [AAs; 88 with CA (70.5% with AD) and 191 without CA (38.2% with AD)] and 239 European Americans [EAs; 61 with CA (86.9% with AD) and 178 without CA (46.6% with AD)] using Illumina GoldenGate Methylation Array assays.

Author(s): 
Zhang, Huiping
Wang, Fan
Kranzler, Henry R.
Zhao, Hongyu
Gelernter, Joel
Publication Title: 
BMC genomics

BACKGROUND: Regular smoking is associated with a wide variety of syndromes with prominent inflammatory components such as cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Heavy regular smoking is also associated with changes in the DNA methylation of peripheral mononuclear cells. However, in younger smokers, inflammatory epigenetic findings are largely absent which suggests the inflammatory response(s) to smoking may be dose dependent.

Author(s): 
Dogan, Meeshanthini V.
Shields, Bridget
Cutrona, Carolyn
Gao, Long
Gibbons, Frederick X.
Simons, Ronald
Monick, Martha
Brody, Gene H.
Tan, Kai
Beach, Steven R. H.
Philibert, Robert A.
Publication Title: 
American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics: The Official Publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics

DNA methylation has become increasingly recognized in the etiology of psychiatric disorders. Because brain tissue is not accessible in living humans, epigenetic studies are most often conducted in blood. Saliva is often collected for genotyping studies but is rarely used to examine DNA methylation because the proportion of epithelial cells and leukocytes varies extensively between individuals. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether saliva DNA is informative for studies of psychiatric disorders.

Author(s): 
Smith, Alicia K.
Kilaru, Varun
Klengel, Torsten
Mercer, Kristina B.
Bradley, Bekh
Conneely, Karen N.
Ressler, Kerry J.
Binder, Elisabeth B.

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