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Associations of Childhood and Adulthood Cognition with Bone Mineral Density in Later Adulthood: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study

Bendayan, R; Kuh, D; Cooper, R; Muthuri, S; Muniz-Terrera, G; Adams, J; Ward, K; (2017) Associations of Childhood and Adulthood Cognition with Bone Mineral Density in Later Adulthood: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience , 9 , Article 241. 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00241. Green open access

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Abstract

This study explores the association between cognitive ability in childhood and midlife and bone health outcomes in early old age; and the relationships of these bone measures with contemporaneous and subsequent cognitive ability in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD). This British birth cohort assessed areal and volumetric bone mineral density (aBMD and vBMD) at age 60–64, derived from peripheral quantitative computed tomography and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and cognitive performance from childhood to age 69, among 866 women and 792 men. Cognitive performance at age 15 was assessed using tests of verbal and non-verbal ability, and mathematics; and memory and search speed tasks were administered at ages 53, 60–64, and 69. Covariates included body size, pubertal timing, smoking, leisure time physical activity, socioeconomic circumstances and menopause timing. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that higher childhood cognitive ability was associated with higher hip aBMD, in women, and greater cortical and trabecular vBMD, in men. For women, there were positive associations between hip aBMD and total vBMD, and contemporaneous cognitive ability with associations also extending to subsequent cognitive ability for total vBMD. For men, some associations with trabecular and total vBMD emerged at ages 60–64 and 69 but only after adjusting for education, occupational class and health behaviors. Our findings highlight that higher cognitive ability in childhood is associated with BMD in early old age and these associations might be explained by social and behavioral pathways. The results suggest that individuals with greater cognitive ability in early life are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors (e.g., leisure time physical activity) in adulthood, which in turn are associated with greater BMD later in life. Associations between bone health and cognitive performance should be considered within a life course framework; and the potential role of smoking and physical activity should be addressed when advising adults at high future risk of osteoporosis and fracture.

Type: Article
Title: Associations of Childhood and Adulthood Cognition with Bone Mineral Density in Later Adulthood: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00241
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00241
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 Bendayan, Kuh, Cooper, Muthuri, Muniz-Terrera, Adams, Ward and Richards. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Geriatrics & Gerontology, Neurosciences, Neurosciences & Neurology, aging, bone health, bone mineral density, cognitive performance, life course, BRITISH BIRTH COHORT, EARLY OLD-AGE, OSTEOPOROTIC FRACTURES, HIP-FRACTURE, EXCESS MORTALITY, WOMEN, MEN, PHENOTYPE, RISK, LIFE
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/1566403
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