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Occupational Years of Service and Leukocyte Epigenetic Aging



The aim of the study is to examine associations between years of firefighting service and eight chronological age-adjusted measures of blood leukocyte epigenetic age acceleration: Horvath, Hannum, SkinBloodClock, Intrinsic, Extrinsic, PhenoAge, GrimAge, and DNAm telomere length.


The study used a repeated measures analysis of data from 379 incumbent firefighters from eight career departments and 100 recruit firefighters from two of the departments, across the United States.


Incumbent firefighters had on average greater epigenetic age acceleration compared with recruit firefighters, potentially due to the cumulative effect of occupational exposures. However, among incumbent firefighters, additional years of service were associated with epigenetic age deceleration, particularly for GrimAge, a strong predictor of mortality.


Long-term studies with more specific occupational exposure classification are needed to better understand the relationship between years of service and aging biomarkers.

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