DNA methylation GrimAge acceleration in US military veterans with PTSD

Seyma Katrinli, Anthony P. King, Elizabeth R. Duval, Alicia K. Smith, Nirmala Rajaram, Israel Liberzon, Sheila A.M. Rauch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Epigenetic alterations in DNA methylation might mediate gene expression effects of trauma underlying PTSD symptoms, or effects of PTSD on related health problems. PTSD is associated with all-cause morbidity and premature mortality, suggesting accelerated biological aging. We measured genome-wide DNA methylation (Illumina MethylationEPIC BeadChip) in whole blood in a treatment study for combat-related PTSD - “PROGrESS”, a multisite RCT comparing sertraline plus enhanced medication management (SERT + EMM), prolonged exposure (PE) therapy plus placebo (PE + PLB), and the combination (SERT + PE). DNA methylation was measured in 140 US military veterans who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan (112 current PTSD cases enrolled in a PTSD treatment study and 28 veterans without PTSD history controls), and also 59 non-trauma exposed controls at baseline posttreatment (24 weeks after baseline). Increased DNA methylation GrimAge acceleration (p = 8.8e−09) was observed in patients with PTSD compared to a pooled control group (trauma exposed and non-trauma exposed), suggesting a higher risk of premature mortality in those with PTSD. There was no difference in GrimAge acceleration between combat trauma and non-trauma exposed controls. No treatment-related changes in GrimAge acceleration were found in within-subject comparisons of PTSD patients pre- to post-treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-780
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Humans
  • Aging
  • DNA Methylation
  • Military Personnel
  • Sertraline/therapeutic use
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/genetics
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'DNA methylation GrimAge acceleration in US military veterans with PTSD'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this