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Childhood IQ and survival to 79: Follow-up of 94% of the Scottish Mental Survey 1947

Cukic, I; Brett, CE; Calvin, CM; Batty, GD; Deary, IJ; (2017) Childhood IQ and survival to 79: Follow-up of 94% of the Scottish Mental Survey 1947. Intelligence , 63 pp. 45-50. 10.1016/j.intell.2017.05.002. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To extend previous literature that suggests higher IQ in youth is associated with living longer. Previous studies have been unable to assess reliably whether the effect differs across sexes and ages of death, and whether the effect is graded across different levels of IQ. Methods: We test IQ-survival associations in 94% of the near-entire population born in Scotland in 1936 who took an IQ test at age 11 (n = 70,805) and were traced in a 68-year follow-up. Results Higher IQ at age 11 years was associated with a lower risk of death (HR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.79, 0.81). The decline in risk across categories of IQ scores was graded across the full range with the effect slightly stronger in women (HR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.77, 0.80) than in men (HR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.81, 0.84). Higher IQ had a significantly stronger association with death before and including age 65 (HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.74, 0.77) than in those participants who died at an older age (HR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.78, 0.80). Conclusions Higher childhood IQ is associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality in both men and women. This is the only near-entire population study to date that examines the association between childhood IQ and mortality across most of the human life course.

Type: Article
Title: Childhood IQ and survival to 79: Follow-up of 94% of the Scottish Mental Survey 1947
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2017.05.002
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2017.05.002
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).
Keywords: Childhood intelligence,IQ, All-cause mortality, SMS1947, Sex differences
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1568964
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