Investigate associations of maternal social experiences with offspring epigenetic age acceleration (EAA) from birth through mid-childhood among 205 mother-offspring dyads of minoritized racial and ethnic groups.
We used linear regression to examine associations of maternal experiences of racial bias or discrimination (0=none, 1-2=intermediate, or 3+=high), social support (tertile 1=low, 2=intermediate, 3=high), and socioeconomic status index (tertile 1=low, 2=intermediate, 3=high) during the prenatal period with offspring EAA according to Horvath's Pan-Tissue, Horvath's Skin & Blood, and Intrinsic EAA clocks at birth, 3 years, and 7 years.
In comparison to children of women who did not experience any racial bias or discrimination, those whose mothers reported highest levels of racial bias or discrimination had lower Pan-Tissue clock EAA in early (-0.50 years; 90% CI: -0.91, -0.09) and mid-childhood (-0.75 years; -1.41, -0.08). We observed similar associations for the Skin & Blood clock and Intrinsic EAA. Maternal experiences of discrimination were not associated with Pan-Tissue EAA at birth. Neither maternal social support nor socioeconomic status predicted offspring EAA.
Children whose mothers experienced racial bias or discrimination exhibited slower EAA. Future studies are warranted to confirm these findings and establish associations of early-life EAA with long-term health outcomes.