Social epigenomics has emerged as an integrative field of research focused on identification of socio-environmental factors, their influence on human biology through epigenomic modifications, and how they contribute to current health disparities. Several health disparities studies have been published using genetic-based approaches; however, increasing accessibility and affordability of molecular technologies have allowed for an in-depth investigation of the influence of external factors on epigenetic modifications (e.g., DNA methylation, micro-RNA expression). Currently, research is focused on epigenetic changes in response to environment, as well as targeted epigenetic therapies and environmental/social strategies for potentially minimizing certain health disparities. Here, we will review recent findings in this field pertaining to conditions and diseases over life span encompassing prenatal to adult stages.
- chronic disease
- health disparities
- social determinants of health