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Influence of maternal and paternal IQ on offspring health and health behaviours: evidence for some trans-generational associations using the 1958 British birth cohort study

Influence of maternal and paternal IQ on offspring health and health behaviours: evidence for some trans-generational associations using the 1958 British birth cohort study
Influence of maternal and paternal IQ on offspring health and health behaviours: evidence for some trans-generational associations using the 1958 British birth cohort study
Purpose

Individuals scoring poorly on tests of intelligence (IQ) have been reported as having increased risk of morbidity, premature mortality, and risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, poor diet, alcohol and cigarette consumption. Very little is known about the impact of parental IQ on the health and health behaviours of their offspring.

Methods

We explored associations of maternal and paternal IQ scores with offspring television viewing, injuries, hospitalisations, long standing illness, height and BMI at ages 4 to 18 using data from the National Child Development Study (1958 birth cohort).

Results

Data were available for 1446 mother-offspring and 822 father-offspring pairs. After adjusting for potential confounding/mediating factors, the children of higher IQ parents were less likely to watch TV (odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for watching 3+ vs. less than 3 hours per week associated with a standard deviation increase in maternal or paternal IQ: 0.75 (0.64, 0.88) or 0.78 (0.64, 0.95) respectively) and less likely to have one or more injuries requiring hospitalisation (0.77 (0.66, 0.90) or 0.72 (0.56, 0.91) respectively for maternal or paternal IQ).

Conclusions

Children whose parents have low IQ scores may have poorer selected health and health behaviours. Health education might usefully be targeted at these families.
intelligence, life course, birth cohort, trans-generational
0924-9338
219-224
Whitley, E.
4632d1bb-a211-4f84-8c0d-78ec0f8c6d60
Gale, C.R.
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8
Deary, I.J.
e3403cfe-eb5b-4941-903d-87ef0db89c60
Kivimaki, M.
87a6c408-c8b5-48dc-b2c0-e1f425b91dc6
Singh-Manoux, A.
d731e41f-9103-415a-b1cc-e1e1201bc3ef
Batty, G.D.
bf322937-2cfb-4174-b5cb-dc016f0d0b8a
Whitley, E.
4632d1bb-a211-4f84-8c0d-78ec0f8c6d60
Gale, C.R.
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8
Deary, I.J.
e3403cfe-eb5b-4941-903d-87ef0db89c60
Kivimaki, M.
87a6c408-c8b5-48dc-b2c0-e1f425b91dc6
Singh-Manoux, A.
d731e41f-9103-415a-b1cc-e1e1201bc3ef
Batty, G.D.
bf322937-2cfb-4174-b5cb-dc016f0d0b8a

Whitley, E., Gale, C.R., Deary, I.J., Kivimaki, M., Singh-Manoux, A. and Batty, G.D. (2013) Influence of maternal and paternal IQ on offspring health and health behaviours: evidence for some trans-generational associations using the 1958 British birth cohort study. European Psychiatry, 28 (4), 219-224. (doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2012.01.005).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose

Individuals scoring poorly on tests of intelligence (IQ) have been reported as having increased risk of morbidity, premature mortality, and risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, poor diet, alcohol and cigarette consumption. Very little is known about the impact of parental IQ on the health and health behaviours of their offspring.

Methods

We explored associations of maternal and paternal IQ scores with offspring television viewing, injuries, hospitalisations, long standing illness, height and BMI at ages 4 to 18 using data from the National Child Development Study (1958 birth cohort).

Results

Data were available for 1446 mother-offspring and 822 father-offspring pairs. After adjusting for potential confounding/mediating factors, the children of higher IQ parents were less likely to watch TV (odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for watching 3+ vs. less than 3 hours per week associated with a standard deviation increase in maternal or paternal IQ: 0.75 (0.64, 0.88) or 0.78 (0.64, 0.95) respectively) and less likely to have one or more injuries requiring hospitalisation (0.77 (0.66, 0.90) or 0.72 (0.56, 0.91) respectively for maternal or paternal IQ).

Conclusions

Children whose parents have low IQ scores may have poorer selected health and health behaviours. Health education might usefully be targeted at these families.

Other
1-s2.0-S0924933812000168-main.pdf__tid=c807e0ac-43d8-11e4-98cf-00000aacb360&acdnat=1411556087_1f2f21086d27828bddbc148829a98ec3 - Version of Record
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More information

Published date: May 2013
Keywords: intelligence, life course, birth cohort, trans-generational
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 369349
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/369349
ISSN: 0924-9338
PURE UUID: 71246463-f38e-45a3-ae92-85121d201284
ORCID for C.R. Gale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3361-8638

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Date deposited: 24 Sep 2014 10:53
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:44

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Contributors

Author: E. Whitley
Author: C.R. Gale ORCID iD
Author: I.J. Deary
Author: M. Kivimaki
Author: A. Singh-Manoux
Author: G.D. Batty

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