Biological age is better than chronological as predictor of 3-month outcome in ischemic stroke

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Abstract

Objective:

To analyze the effect of age-related DNA methylation changes in multiple cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) sites (biological age [b-age]) on patient outcomes at 3 months after an ischemic stroke.

Methods:

We included 511 patients with first-ever acute ischemic stroke assessed at Hospital del Mar (Barcelona, Spain) as the discovery cohort. Demographic and clinical data, including chronological age (c-age), vascular risk factors, initial stroke severity, recanalization treatment, and previous and 3-month modified Rankin Scale (p-mRS and 3-mRS, respectively) were registered. B-age was estimated with an algorithm, based on DNA methylation in 71 CpGs. Bivariate analysis determined variables associated with 3-mRS for inclusion in ordinal multivariate analysis.

Results:

After ordinal regressions for 3-month ischemic stroke outcome (3-mRS), b-age was associated with outcome (odds ratio 1.04 [95% confidence interval 1.01–1.07]), nullifying c-age. Stepwise regression kept b-age, basal NIH Stroke Scale, sex, p-mRS, and recanalization treatment as better explanatory variables, instead of c-age. These results were successfully replicated in an independent cohort.

Conclusions:

B-age, estimated by DNA methylation, is an independent predictor of ischemic stroke outcome regardless of chronological years.

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