It's hard to believe that poverty leaves a mark on the genes in the genome, but it’s ture!
Researchers from Northwestern University found evidence that poverty can become embedded across wide swaths of the genome.
Previous research has shown that socioeconomic status (SES) is a powerful determinant of human health and disease, and social inequality is a ubiquitous stressor for human populations globally. Lower educational attainment and/or income predict increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, many cancers and infectious diseases, for example. Furthermore, lower SES is associated with physiological processes that contribute to the development of disease, including chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and cortisol dysregulation.
In this study, researchers found evidence that poverty can become embedded across wide swaths of the genome. They discovered that lower socioeconomic status is associated with levels of DNA methylation (DNAm) -- a key epigenetic mark that has the potential to shape gene expression -- at more than 2,500 sites, across more than 1,500 genes.
"These are the areas we'll be focusing on to determine if DNA methylation is indeed an important mechanism through which socioeconomic status can leave a lasting molecular imprint on the body, with implications for health later in life," Lead author McDade said.
Original title：Poverty leaves a mark on our genes