Many hemostatic factors are associated with age and age-related diseases; however, much remains unknown about the biological mechanisms linking aging and hemostatic factors. DNA methylation is a novel means by which to assess epigenetic aging, which is a measure of age and the aging processes as determined by altered epigenetic states. We used a meta-analysis approach to examine the association between measures of epigenetic aging and hemostatic factors, as well as a clotting time measure. For fibrinogen, we performed European and African ancestry–specific meta-analyses which were then combined via a random effects meta-analysis. For all other measures we could not estimate ancestry-specific effects and used a single fixed effects meta-analysis. We found that 1-year higher extrinsic epigenetic age as compared with chronological age was associated with higher fibrinogen (0.004 g/L/y; 95% confidence interval, 0.001-0.007; P = .01) and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1; 0.13 U/mL/y; 95% confidence interval, 0.07-0.20; P = 6.6 x 10 –5 ) concentrations, as well as lower activated partial thromboplastin time, a measure of clotting time. We replicated PAI-1 associations using an independent cohort. To further elucidate potential functional mechanisms, we associated epigenetic aging with expression levels of the PAI-1 protein encoding gene ( SERPINE1 ) and the 3 fibrinogen subunit-encoding genes ( FGA , FGG , and FGB ) in both peripheral blood and aorta intima-media samples. We observed associations between accelerated epigenetic aging and transcription of FGG in both tissues. Collectively, our results indicate that accelerated epigenetic aging is associated with a procoagulation hemostatic profile, and that epigenetic aging may regulate hemostasis in part via gene transcription.
Thrombosis and Hemostasis