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Intellectual ability in young adulthood as an antecedent of physical functioning in older age

Intellectual ability in young adulthood as an antecedent of physical functioning in older age
Intellectual ability in young adulthood as an antecedent of physical functioning in older age
Objectives: low cognitive ability is associated with subsequent functional disability. Whether this association extends across adult life has been little studied. The aim of this study was to examine the association between intellectual ability in young adulthood and physical functioning during a 10-year follow-up in older age.

Methods: three hundred and sixty persons of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS) male members, born between 1934 and 1944 and residing in Finland in 1971, took part in The Finnish Defence Forces Basic Intellectual Ability Test during the first 2 weeks of their military service training between 1952 and 1972. Their physical functioning was assessed twice using the Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire at average ages of 61 and 71 years. A longitudinal path model linking Intellectual Ability Test score to the physical functioning assessments was used to explore the effect of intellectual ability in young adulthood on physical functioning in older age.

Results: after adjustments for age at measurement, childhood socioeconomic status and adult BMI (kg/m2), better intellectual ability total and arithmetic and verbal reasoning subtest scores in young adulthood predicted better physical functioning at age 61 years (P values <0.021). Intellectual ability total and arithmetic and verbal reasoning subtest scores in young adulthood had indirect effects on physical functioning at age 71 years (P values <0.022) through better physical functioning at age 61 years. Adjustment for main chronic diseases did not change the results materially.

Conclusion: better early-life intellectual ability helps in maintaining better physical functioning in older age.
0002-0729
1-5
Poranen-Clark, T.
40f8b975-b494-48ee-a5b6-2287e9818286
von Bonsdorff, M.B.
87109bb7-0b2f-4db5-8b66-459142573ca3
Tormakangas, T.
a69c21d3-71dd-47b0-91c5-965fbfe59795
Lahti, J.
522c081a-8ed6-476a-b421-f07e9c498ecb
Wasenius, N.
ac463539-9738-4304-95d9-07adca970277
Raikkonen, K.
926aba17-06cd-417b-b20f-ae400a2596a6
Osmond, C.
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Salonen, M.K.
376ccd5d-a164-40aa-b0d6-5117ce2e7e56
Rantanen, T.
9bc8e012-9255-4eb5-8c70-6e619917513e
Kajantie, E.
d4e32f85-9988-4b83-b353-012210ea0151
Eriksson, J.G.
eda300d2-b247-479f-95b9-f12d2c72e92b
Poranen-Clark, T.
40f8b975-b494-48ee-a5b6-2287e9818286
von Bonsdorff, M.B.
87109bb7-0b2f-4db5-8b66-459142573ca3
Tormakangas, T.
a69c21d3-71dd-47b0-91c5-965fbfe59795
Lahti, J.
522c081a-8ed6-476a-b421-f07e9c498ecb
Wasenius, N.
ac463539-9738-4304-95d9-07adca970277
Raikkonen, K.
926aba17-06cd-417b-b20f-ae400a2596a6
Osmond, C.
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Salonen, M.K.
376ccd5d-a164-40aa-b0d6-5117ce2e7e56
Rantanen, T.
9bc8e012-9255-4eb5-8c70-6e619917513e
Kajantie, E.
d4e32f85-9988-4b83-b353-012210ea0151
Eriksson, J.G.
eda300d2-b247-479f-95b9-f12d2c72e92b

Poranen-Clark, T., von Bonsdorff, M.B., Tormakangas, T., Lahti, J., Wasenius, N., Raikkonen, K., Osmond, C., Salonen, M.K., Rantanen, T., Kajantie, E. and Eriksson, J.G. (2016) Intellectual ability in young adulthood as an antecedent of physical functioning in older age. Age and Ageing, 1-5. (doi:10.1093/ageing/afw087). (PMID:27189726)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: low cognitive ability is associated with subsequent functional disability. Whether this association extends across adult life has been little studied. The aim of this study was to examine the association between intellectual ability in young adulthood and physical functioning during a 10-year follow-up in older age.

Methods: three hundred and sixty persons of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS) male members, born between 1934 and 1944 and residing in Finland in 1971, took part in The Finnish Defence Forces Basic Intellectual Ability Test during the first 2 weeks of their military service training between 1952 and 1972. Their physical functioning was assessed twice using the Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire at average ages of 61 and 71 years. A longitudinal path model linking Intellectual Ability Test score to the physical functioning assessments was used to explore the effect of intellectual ability in young adulthood on physical functioning in older age.

Results: after adjustments for age at measurement, childhood socioeconomic status and adult BMI (kg/m2), better intellectual ability total and arithmetic and verbal reasoning subtest scores in young adulthood predicted better physical functioning at age 61 years (P values <0.021). Intellectual ability total and arithmetic and verbal reasoning subtest scores in young adulthood had indirect effects on physical functioning at age 71 years (P values <0.022) through better physical functioning at age 61 years. Adjustment for main chronic diseases did not change the results materially.

Conclusion: better early-life intellectual ability helps in maintaining better physical functioning in older age.

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Accepted/In Press date: 31 March 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 May 2016
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 394685
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/394685
ISSN: 0002-0729
PURE UUID: 64e41049-e228-4722-a384-86c070191d6e
ORCID for C. Osmond: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9054-4655

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Date deposited: 23 May 2016 11:31
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:45

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Contributors

Author: T. Poranen-Clark
Author: M.B. von Bonsdorff
Author: T. Tormakangas
Author: J. Lahti
Author: N. Wasenius
Author: K. Raikkonen
Author: C. Osmond ORCID iD
Author: M.K. Salonen
Author: T. Rantanen
Author: E. Kajantie
Author: J.G. Eriksson

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