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Adolescent affective symptoms and mortality

Archer, G; Kuh, D; Hotopf, M; Stafford, M; Richards, M; (2018) Adolescent affective symptoms and mortality. The British Journal of Psychiatry , 213 (1) pp. 419-424. 10.1192/bjp.2018.90. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the relationship between adolescent affective problems (anxiety and depression) and mortality.AimsTo examine whether adolescent affective symptoms are associated with premature mortality, and to assess whether this relationship is independent of other developmental factors. METHOD: Data (n = 3884) was from Britain's oldest birth cohort study - the National Survey of Health and Development. Adolescent affective symptoms were rated by teachers at ages 13 and 15 years: scores were summed and classified into three categories: mild or no, moderate and severe symptoms (1st-50th, 51st-90th and 91st-100th percentiles, respectively). Mortality data were obtained from national registry data up to age 68 years. Potential confounders were parental social class, childhood cognition and illness, and adolescent externalising behaviour. RESULTS: Over the 53-year follow-up period, 12.2% (n = 472) of study members died. Severe adolescent affective symptoms were associated with an increased rate of mortality compared with those with mild or no symptoms (gender adjusted hazard ratio 1.76, 95% CI 1.33-2.33). This association was only partially attenuated after adjustment for potential confounders (fully adjusted hazard ratio 1.61, 95% CI 1.20-2.15). There was suggestive evidence of an association across multiple causes of death. Moderate symptoms were not associated with mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Severe adolescent affective symptoms are associated with an increased rate of premature mortality over a 53-year follow-up period, independent of potential confounders. These findings underscore the importance of early mental health interventions.Declaration of interestNone.

Type: Article
Title: Adolescent affective symptoms and mortality
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1192/bjp.2018.90
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.2018.90
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2018. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Mortality, adolescent, affective disorders, cohort studies, depression
UCL classification: UCL
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 Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050300
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