Factors affecting longitudinal trajectories of plasma sphingomyelins: The Baltimore longitudinal study of aging

Michelle M. Mielke, Veera Venkata Ratnam Bandaru, Dingfen Han, Yang An, Susan M. Resnick, Luigi Ferrucci, Norman J. Haughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sphingomyelin metabolism has been linked to several diseases and to longevity. However, few epidemiological studies have quantified individual plasma sphingomyelin species (identified by acyl-chain length and saturation) or their relationship between demographic factors and disease processes. In this study, we determined plasma concentrations of distinct sphingomyelin species in 992 individuals, aged 55 and older, enrolled in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Participants were followed, with serial measures, up to 6 visits and 38 years (3972 total samples). Quantitative analyses were performed on a high-performance liquid chromatography-coupled electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometer. Linear mixed models were used to assess variation in specific sphingomyelin species and associations with demographics, diseases, medications or lifestyle factors, and plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels. We found that most sphingomyelin species increased with age. Women had higher plasma levels of all sphingomyelin species and showed steeper trajectories of age-related increases compared to men. African Americans also showed higher circulating sphingomyelin concentrations compared to Caucasians. Diabetes, smoking, and plasma triglycerides were associated with lower levels of many sphingomyelins and dihydrosphingomyelins. Notably, these associations showed specificity to sphingomyelin acyl-chain length and saturation. These results demonstrate that longitudinal changes in circulating sphingomyelin levels are influenced by age, sex, race, lifestyle factors, and diseases. It will be important to further establish the intra-individual age- and sex-specific changes in each sphingomyelin species in relation to disease onset and progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalAging Cell
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Dihydrosphingomyelin
  • Human
  • Longitudinal
  • Sex differences
  • Sphingomyelin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology

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