Epigenetic Biomarkers of Aging

  • Morgan E. LevineEmail author
Part of the Healthy Ageing and Longevity book series (HAL, volume 10)


The development of valid and reliable biomarkers of aging has become a major initiative in Geroscience research. Our ability to distinguish biological from chronological age will enable identification of accelerated versus decelerated agers, and could also provide a valuable tool for assessing intervention efficacy. While various types of data can be used to quantify “biological age”, perhaps the most successful applications have been using DNA methylation data. To date nearly a dozen different “epigenetic clocks” have been develop—most of which track age in a variety of tissues and cell types. Nevertheless, while they seem to share some characteristics, such as robust age prediction, their associations with age-related outcomes vary substantially. In moving forward, the utility of such measures will depend on our understanding of (1) why specific CpG dinucleotides exhibit such consistent DNAm changes over time, (2) what pathways or hallmarks are driven and/or reflected by alterations of DNAm, and (3) perhaps most importantly, whether these patterns of aging are amenable to intervention.


DNA methylation Biomarkers of aging Biological age Epigenetics Machine learning Complexity 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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