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Epigenetic Signatures of Socioeconomic Status Across the Lifecourse

  • Silvia Stringhini
  • Paolo Vineis

Abstract

In the last years, research has expanded with the aim of identifying the biological mechanisms through which socioeconomic factors are embedded. Indeed, if differences in the social environment are causally related to health, then they must express themselves in terms of variations in biological factors that are linked to health. The identification of these factors might be important for clarifying the complex mechanisms involved in the social distribution of diseases and for better targeting public health interventions. Epigenetics, and more specifically DNA methylation, is potentially one of the most important biological pathways through which socioeconomic factors are embedded. Here we propose a conceptual framework for the role of epigenetic modifications in the biological integration of socioeconomic factors and provide some examples from empirical studies.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a grant from the European Commission (Horizon 2020 grant no. 633666-LIFEPATH). Silvia Stringhini is supported by an Ambizione Grant (no. PZ00P3_147998) from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Stringhini
    • 1
  • Paolo Vineis
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP), Lausanne University HospitalLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.School of Public Health, Imperial College LondonLondonUK

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