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IQ in childhood and atherosclerosis in middle-age: 40 year follow-up of the Newcastle Thousand Families Cohort Study

IQ in childhood and atherosclerosis in middle-age: 40 year follow-up of the Newcastle Thousand Families Cohort Study
IQ in childhood and atherosclerosis in middle-age: 40 year follow-up of the Newcastle Thousand Families Cohort Study
OBJECTIVE: Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is a known precursor to coronary heart disease (CHD) and other relevant health outcomes such as stroke and cognitive impairment. In addition, higher childhood intelligence has been associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease events in later life, although the mechanisms of effect are unclear. We therefore examined the association between childhood intelligence and atherosclerosis using carotid IMT as a marker of the atherosclerotic process.

APPROACH: Participants were 412 members of the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, a prospective cohort study of all 1142 births in the city of Newcastle in May and June 1947, who took an IQ test and English and arithmetic tests at age 11 years. Study members participated in a medical examination and lifestyle assessment at age 49-51 years during which IMT was measured using ultrasound techniques.

RESULTS: Individuals with higher childhood IQ score had a lower mean IMT in middle-age. A standard deviation higher score in childhood overall IQ was associated with a 0.053 mm (95% CI -0.102, -0.004) lower IMT in men and a 0.039 mm (95% CI -0.080, -0.002) lower IMT in women. Similar levels of association were found for the English and arithmetic tests. After adjustment for a range of covariates including education, the size of effect was undiminished in men but increased in women.

CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, higher childhood IQ scores were associated with a lower degree of atherosclerosis by middle-age.
childhood IQ, atherosclerosis, intima-media thickness, cognitive epidemiology
0021-9150
234-237
Roberts, Beverly A.
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Batty, G. David
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Gale, Catharine R.
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8
Deary, Ian J.
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Parker, Louise
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Pearce, Mark S.
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Roberts, Beverly A.
0db7cdd4-d453-458f-85ae-a770518dca36
Batty, G. David
605ce199-493d-4238-b9c8-a2c076672e83
Gale, Catharine R.
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Parker, Louise
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Pearce, Mark S.
b50b01fe-e8a4-4484-8539-3bdeba5d79d9

Roberts, Beverly A., Batty, G. David, Gale, Catharine R., Deary, Ian J., Parker, Louise and Pearce, Mark S. (2013) IQ in childhood and atherosclerosis in middle-age: 40 year follow-up of the Newcastle Thousand Families Cohort Study. Atherosclerosis, 231 (2), 234-237. (doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.09.018). (PMID:24267233)

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is a known precursor to coronary heart disease (CHD) and other relevant health outcomes such as stroke and cognitive impairment. In addition, higher childhood intelligence has been associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease events in later life, although the mechanisms of effect are unclear. We therefore examined the association between childhood intelligence and atherosclerosis using carotid IMT as a marker of the atherosclerotic process.

APPROACH: Participants were 412 members of the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, a prospective cohort study of all 1142 births in the city of Newcastle in May and June 1947, who took an IQ test and English and arithmetic tests at age 11 years. Study members participated in a medical examination and lifestyle assessment at age 49-51 years during which IMT was measured using ultrasound techniques.

RESULTS: Individuals with higher childhood IQ score had a lower mean IMT in middle-age. A standard deviation higher score in childhood overall IQ was associated with a 0.053 mm (95% CI -0.102, -0.004) lower IMT in men and a 0.039 mm (95% CI -0.080, -0.002) lower IMT in women. Similar levels of association were found for the English and arithmetic tests. After adjustment for a range of covariates including education, the size of effect was undiminished in men but increased in women.

CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, higher childhood IQ scores were associated with a lower degree of atherosclerosis by middle-age.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 2 October 2013
Published date: December 2013
Keywords: childhood IQ, atherosclerosis, intima-media thickness, cognitive epidemiology
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 360495
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/360495
ISSN: 0021-9150
PURE UUID: f46ed317-19db-4a8c-8953-cf2d349c5e49
ORCID for Catharine R. Gale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3361-8638

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Date deposited: 11 Dec 2013 15:48
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:44

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Contributors

Author: Beverly A. Roberts
Author: G. David Batty
Author: Ian J. Deary
Author: Louise Parker
Author: Mark S. Pearce

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