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Childhood cognition and age-related change in standing balance performance from mid to later life: findings from a British birth cohort

Blodgett, JM; Kuh, D; Hardy, R; Davis, DHJ; Cooper, R; (2018) Childhood cognition and age-related change in standing balance performance from mid to later life: findings from a British birth cohort. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A 10.1093/gerona/gly275. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cognitive processing plays a crucial role in the integration of sensory input and motor output that facilitates balance. However, whether balance ability in adulthood is influenced by cognitive pathways established in childhood is unclear, especially as no study has examined if these relationships change with age. We aimed to investigate associations between childhood cognition and age-related change in standing balance between mid and later life. METHODS: Data on 2380 participants from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development were included in analyses. Repeated measures multilevel models estimated the association between childhood cognition, assessed at age 15, and log-transformed balance time, assessed at ages 53, 60–64 and 69 using the one-legged stand with eyes closed. Adjustments were made for sex, death, attrition, anthropometric measures, health conditions, health behaviours, education, other indicators of socioeconomic position (SEP) and adult verbal memory. RESULTS: In a sex-adjusted model, one standard deviation increase in childhood cognition was associated with a 13% (95%CI:10,16%;p<0.001) increase in balance time at age 53, and this association got smaller with age (cognition*age interaction:p<0.001). Adjustments for education, adult verbal memory and SEP largely explained these associations. CONCLUSIONS: Higher childhood cognition was associated with better balance performance in midlife, with diminishing associations with increasing age. The impact of adjustment for education, cognition and other indicators of SEP suggested a common pathway through which cognition is associated with balance across life. Further research is needed to understand underlying mechanisms, which may have important implications for falls risk and maintenance of physical capability.

Type: Article
Title: Childhood cognition and age-related change in standing balance performance from mid to later life: findings from a British birth cohort
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/gerona/gly275
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/gly275
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: life course, balance, cognition, age-related, decline
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 Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064424
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