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Lifetime affective problems and later-life cognitive state: over 50 years of follow-up in a British Birth Cohort Study

James, SN; Davis, D; Hardy, R; Kuh, D; O'HARE, C; Sharma, N; Gaysina, D; (2018) Lifetime affective problems and later-life cognitive state: over 50 years of follow-up in a British Birth Cohort Study. Journal of Affective Disorders , 241 pp. 348-355. 10.1016/j.jad.2018.07.078. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Affective problems increase the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment, yet the life course dimension of this association is not clearly understood. We aimed to investigate how affective problems across the life course relate to later-life cognitive state. METHODS: Data from 1269 participants from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD, the British 1946 birth cohort) were used. Prospectively-assessed measures of affective symptoms spanning ages 13-69 were used and categorised into case-level thresholds. Outcomes consisted of a comprehensive measure of cognitive state (Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-III)), verbal memory, and letter search speed and accuracy at age 69. RESULTS: Complementary life course models demonstrated that having 2 or more case-level problems across the life course was most strongly associated with poorer cognitive outcomes, before and after adjusting for sex, childhood cognition, childhood and midlife occupational position and education. LIMITATIONS: A disproportionate loss to follow-up of those who had lower childhood cognitive scores may have led to underestimation of the strength of associations. DISCUSSION: Using a population-based prospective study we provide evidence that recurrent lifetime affective problems predicts poorer later-life cognitive state, and this risk can be already manifest in early old age (age 69). Our findings raise the possibility that effective management to minimise affective problems reoccurring across the life course may reduce the associated risk of cognitive impairment and decline.

Type: Article
Title: Lifetime affective problems and later-life cognitive state: over 50 years of follow-up in a British Birth Cohort Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.07.078
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.07.078
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/ 4.0/).
Keywords: Depression; Anxiety; Affective; Cognition; Cognitive state; Life course
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
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 Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
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/10053696
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