Blunted Rest-Activity Circadian Rhythm Is Associated With Increased Rate of Biological Aging: An Analysis of NHANES 2011-2014
Impaired rest-activity circadian rhythm has been associated with increased risk for morbidity and mortality. Animals with mutations in clock genes display accelerated aging and shortened life span. Whether impaired rest-activity circadian rhythm is also associated with processes of aging in humans has not been explored. We analyzed accelerometry and physiological data from 7 539 adults participating in the 2011-2014 waves of the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. We used accelerometry data to compute rest-activity rhythm measurements. We used physiological data to compute measurements of biological aging according to 3 published algorithms: Klemera-Doubal method (KDM) Biological Age, PhenoAge, and homeostatic dysregulation (HD). In the models adjusting multiple covariates, participants with higher relative amplitude (RA) and interdaily stability (IS) and lower intradaily variability (IV) exhibited less advanced biological aging indexed by KDM and PhenoAge (effect sizes for 1-quantile increase in these rest-activity measurements ranged from 0.54 to 0.57 "years" for RA, 0.24 to 0.28 "years" for IS, and 0.24 to 0.35 "years" for IV, ps < .001). Similar finding was observed for biological aging indexed by HD, but the significance was limited to RA with 1-quantile increase in RA associated with 0.09 log units decrease in HD (p < .001). The results indicate that blunted rest-activity circadian rhythm is associated with accelerated aging in the general population, suggesting that interventions aiming at enhancing circadian rhythm may be a novel approach for the extension of a healthy life span.