All peer reviewed publications are listed below. Other publications will be uploaded shortly.

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Uher, R., Caspi, A., Houts, R., Sugden, K., Williams, B.S., Poulton, R. , Moffitt, T.E. | 2011

Serotonin transporter gene moderates childhood maltreatment's effects on persistent but not single-episode depression: Replications and implications for resolving inconsistent results

Journal of Affective Disorders, 2011, 135(135), 56-65.

Our ref: RO616

Show abstract » Objective: To investigate whether subtypes of depression predict differential outcomes of treatment with selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and a tricyclic antidepressant in major depression. Method: Among 811 adults with moderate-to-severe depression, melancholic, atypical, anxious and anxious-somatizing depression subtypes established at baseline were evaluated as predictors of outcome of treatment with flexible dosage of the SSRI escitalopram or the tricyclic antidepressant nortriptyline. The primary outcome measure was the MontgomeryÅsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Secondary outcome measures were the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD-17) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Results: Melancholic depression was associated with slightly worse outcomes among individuals treated with escitalopram, but did not affect outcome of treatment with nortriptyline. The interaction between melancholic depression and drug did not reach statistical significance for the primary outcome measure and significant results for secondary outcome measures were not robust in sensitivity analyses. Atypical depression was unrelated to outcome of treatment with either antidepressant. Anxious and anxious-somatizing depression did not predict outcome on the primary measure, but inconsistently predicted worse outcome in some secondary analyses. Limitations: Some participants were non-randomly allocated to drug. Therefore, drug-bypredictor interactions had to be validated in sensitivity analyses restricted to the 468 randomly allocated individuals. Conclusions: Melancholic, atypical or anxious depression, are not sufficiently robust differential predictors of outcome to help clinician choose between SSRI and tricyclic antidepressants. There is a need to investigate other predictors of outcome.
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Nada-Raja, S. , Skegg, K. M. | 2011

Victimization, posttraumatic stress disorder symptomatology and later non-suicidal self-harm in a birth cohort

Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2011, 26(26), 3667–3681.
DOI: 10.1177/0886260511403757

Our ref: RO614

Show abstract » This longitudinal population-based study examined pathways to nonsuicidal self-harm (NSSH) in relation to childhood sexual abuse (CSA), assault victimization in early adulthood, posttraumatic stress disorder symptomatology (PTSD), and other mental disorders. At age 21,476 men and 455 women completed interviews on assaultvictimization, PTSD, andother mental disorders. At age 26, they completed independent interviews on self-harm and childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine predictors for NSSH at age 26. For men, anxiety and depressive disorders at age 21 were the only significant predictors of NSSH at age 26. For women, victimization, PTSD, and other anxiety disorders at age 21 all significantly predicted NSSH. CSA predicted later NSSH only indirectly, by increasing the risk of anxiety disorders among men and of assault victimization among women. In conclusion, pathways to nonsuicidal self-harm differed by sex. For women there were direct links with assault victimization and PTSD in early adulthood, whereas for men only internalizing disorders predicted future NSSH.
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Peres, M.A., Thomson, W. M. , Peres, K.G., Gigante, D.P., Horta, B.L., Broadbent, J. M. , Poulton, R. | 2011

Challenges in comparing the methods and findings of cohort studies of oral health: the Dunedin (New Zealand) and Pelotas (Brazil) studies

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2011, 35(35), 549-556.

Our ref: RO613

Show abstract » Objective: to systematically compare methods and some findings from two prospective cohort studies of oral health. Methods : This paper describes and compares two such population-based birth cohort studies of younger adults: the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (conducted in New Zealand); and the 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study (conducted in Brazil). Results: The two cohorts showed socio-demographic similarities and differences, with their gender mixes being similar, but their ethnic compositions differing markedly. There were some important similarities and differences in methods. Overall dental caries experience was higher among the Dunedin cohort. Each of the studies has examined the association between childhood-adulthood changes in socio-economic status and oral health in the mid-20s. Both studies observed the greatest disease experience among those who were of low SES in both childhood and adulthood, and the least among those who were of high SES in both childhood and adulthood. In each cohort, disease experience in the upwardly mobile and downwardly mobile groups lay between those two extremes. Conclusions and implications: There are important similarities and differences in both methods and findings. While the need for a degree of methodological convergence in future is noted, the two studies are able to use each other as replicate samples for research into chronic oral conditions.
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Lee, M.H.S., Hancox, R. J. | 2011

Effects of smoking cannabis on lung function

Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, 2011, 5(5), 537-547.

Our ref: RO612

Show abstract » Although cannabis (or marijuana) is the world's most widely-used illicit drug, there has been surprisingly little research into its effects on respiratory health. Part of the problem is the inherent difficulty of studying the long-term effects of an illegal habit. It has often been assumed that smoking cannabis will have similar long-term effects to smoking tobacco. Several recent observational studies suggest that this is not the case and that cannabis has quite different effects on the lung function. There are consistent findings that smoking cannabis is associated with large airway inflammation, symptoms of bronchitis, increased airway resistance and lung hyperinflation. The evidence that smoking cannabis leads to features of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, such as airflow obstruction and emphysema is not convincing. However, there are numerous case reports of bullous emphysema among cannabis smokers. These findings have not been confirmed in systematic analytical studies and probably represent uncommon adverse effects in very heavy cannabis smokers. There is now additional controversial evidence that cannabis is at least an occasional cause of respiratory malignancies, but again the evidence is inconclusive.
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Hancox, R. J. , Landhuis, C.E. | 2011

Association between sleep duration and haemoglobin A1c in young adults

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2011, Online First, doi:10.1136/jech-2011-200217.
Our ref: RO611

Show abstract » Background: Epidemiological and experimental evidence suggests that inadequate sleep can cause both obesity and impaired glucose tolerance. Short sleep duration in childhood appears to have a greater impact on the risk for adult obesity than adult sleep duration. The long-term effects of childhood sleep on glucose metabolism have not been investigated. The authors assessed the associations between childhood and adult sleep duration and adult glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. Methods: An unselected cohort of 1037 individuals, born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between 1972 and 1973. Parent reports of times in bed at ages 5, 7, 9 and 11 were used to estimate childhood sleep duration. Adult sleep duration was estimated from self-reported times in bed at age 32. HbA1c levels were measured at age 32. Pregnant women and participants with diabetes were excluded from the analyses. Results: Childhood sleep duration did not predict adult HbA1c. However, less time spent in bed at age 32 was associated with higher levels of HbA1c (p=0.002) and an increased risk of prediabetes (p=0.015). The inverse association between adult sleep times and HbA1c was independent of body mass index, smoking, socioeconomic status, shift work and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea. Conclusions: Short sleep duration is associated with higher levels of HbA1c and an increased risk of prediabetes in young adults. The findings suggest that inadequate sleep impairs glucose control in the short term and may increase the risk for long-term health problems.
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Thomson, W. M. , Caspi, A., Poulton, R. , Moffitt, T.E., Broadbent, J. M. | 2011

Personality and oral Health

European Journal of Oral Science, 2011, 119(119), 366-372.
Our ref: RO610

Show abstract » We investigated age-26 personality characteristics and age-32 oral health in a prospective study of a complete birth cohort born in Dunedin, New Zealand. Personality was measured using the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). Oral health was measured using the short-form Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14), a global measure, and dental examinations. Personality profiles were constructed for 916 individuals (50.8% men) using standardized MPQ scores, and multivariate analyses examined their association with oral health. Those reporting 1+ OHIP-14 impacts had higher Negative Emotionality scores (and lower Constraint and Positive Emotionality MPQ superfactor scores) than those who did not. After controlling for gender, clinical status, and the other two MPQ superfactors, those scoring higher on Negative Emotionality had a greater risk of reporting 1+ OHIP-14 impacts, as well as 3+ OHIP-14 impacts and worse-than-average oral health. They also had a greater risk of having lost at least one tooth from caries and of having 3+ decayed surfaces. Personality characteristics appear to shape self-reports of oral health. Personality is also a risk factor for clinical disease status, at least with respect to dental caries and its sequelae. Because the attitudes and values tapped into by personality tests can be altered by brief cognitive interventions, those might be useful in preventive dentistry.
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Shearer, D.M., Thomson, W. M. , Broadbent, J. M. , Poulton, R. | 2011

Does maternal oral health predict child oral health-related quality of life in adulthood?

Health & Quality of Life Outcomes, 2011, 9(9), 50-57.

Our ref: RO609

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: A parental/family history of poor oral health may influence the oral-health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) of adults. Objectives: To determine whether the oral health of mothers of young children can predict the OHRQOL of those same children when they reach adulthood. METHODS: Oral examination and interview data from the Dunedin Study's age-32 assessment, as well as maternal self-rated oral health data from the age-5 assessment were used. The main outcome measure was study members' short-form Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14) at age 32. Analyses involved 827 individuals (81.5% of the surviving cohort) dentally examined at both ages, who also completed the OHIP-14 questionnaire at age 32, and whose mothers were interviewed at the age-5 assessment. RESULTS: There was a consistent gradient of relative risk across the categories of maternal self-rated oral health status at the age-5 assessment for having one or more impacts in the overall OHIP-14 scale, whereby risk was greatest among the study members whose mothers rated their oral health as poor/edentulous, and lowest among those with an excellent/fairly good rating. In addition, there was a gradient in the age-32 mean OHIP-14 score, and in the mean number of OHIP-14 impacts at age 32 across the categories of maternal self-rated oral health status. The higher risk of having one or more impacts in the psychological discomfort subscale, when mother rated her oral health as poor/edentulous, was statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that maternal self-rated oral health when a child is young has a bearing on that child's OHRQOL almost three decades later. The adult offspring of mothers with poor self-rated oral health had poorer OHRQOL outcomes, particularly in the psychological discomfort subscale.
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Grisham, J. R. , Fullana, M. A. , Mataix-Cols, D. , Moffitt, T.E., Caspi, A., Poulton, R. | 2011

Risk factors prospectively associated with adult obsessive-compulsive symptom dimensions and obsessive-compulsive disorder

Psychological Medicine, 2011, 41(41), 2495-2506.

Our ref: RO608

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Very few longitudinal studies have evaluated prospective neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Furthermore, despite the heterogeneous nature of OCD, no research has examined risk factors for its primary symptom dimensions, such as contamination/washing.Method: Potential risk factors for symptoms or diagnosis of OCD in adulthood and for specific adult obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptom dimensions were examined in the Dunedin Study birth cohort. The presence of obsessions and compulsions and psychological disorders was assessed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) at ages 26 and 32 years. Individuals with a diagnosis of OCD at either age (n=36) were compared to both a healthy control group (n=613) and an anxious control group (n=310) to determine whether associations between a risk factor and an OCD diagnosis were specific. RESULTS: Childhood neurodevelopmental, behavioral, personality and environmental risk factors were associated with a diagnosis of OCD and with OC symptoms at ages 26 and 32. Social isolation, retrospectively reported physical abuse and negative emotionality were specific predictors of an adult OCD diagnosis. Of note, most risk factors were associated with OC symptoms in adulthood and several risk factors predicted specific OCD dimensions. Perinatal insults were linked to increased risk for symmetry/ordering and shameful thoughts dimensions, whereas poor childhood motor skills predicted the harm/checking dimension. Difficult temperament, internalizing symptoms and conduct problems in childhood also predicted specific symptom dimensions and lower IQ non-specifically predicted increased risk for most dimensions. CONCLUSIONS: The current findings underscore the need for a dimensional approach in evaluating childhood risk factors for obsessions and compulsions.
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Brookland, R. , Begg, D. J. | 2011

Adolescent, and their parents, attitudes towards graduated driver licensing and subsequent risky driving and crashes in young adulthood

Journal of Safety Research, 2011, 42(42), 109-115.

Our ref: RO607

Show abstract » Problem: Although Graduated Driver Licensing Systems (GDLS) have helped reduce young driver crash rates, they remain significantly over-represented in crash statistics. To be effective GDLS rely heavily on support for the legislation by those directly involved; parents to enforce the restrictions and adolescents to comply. There is some evidence that practices regarding GDLS restrictions influence adolescent driving outcomes in the early stage of licensure. However there has been no examination undertaken on the influence of parent and adolescent attitudes toward GDLS on adolescents' driving behavior and crash experiences as they move into their young adult years. The aim of this research was to examine these relationships. Method: This investigation was based on a longitudinal study of a birth cohort, and uses data collected when the cohort members were aged 15, 18, and 21years. At age 15 both adolescent and their parent attitudes toward GDLS were measured. At age 18 adolescent GDLS attitudes were measured again. The association between these measures and self-reported risky driving behavior and crash involvement at age 21 were examined. Results: Negative attitudes toward the learner supervisor restriction for males, and negative attitudes toward a GDLS for females were strongly associated with risky driving and crash involvement as young adults. Impact on industry: Targeting interventions to improve adolescents and parents understanding of the reasons for graduated licensing and the specific restrictions may improve attitudes and views and thereby contribute to a reduction in risky driving behaviors and crash risk among young adults.
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Broadbent, J. M. , Thomson, W. M. , Boyens, J.V., Poulton, R. | 2011

Dental plaque and oral health during the first 30 years of life

Journal of the American Dental Association, 2011, 142(142), 415-426.

Our ref: RO606

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Studies investigating the role of dental plaque in oral disease have focused primarily on the quantity and quality of plaque at a given point in time. No large-scale epidemiologic research has been conducted regarding the continuity and change in plaque levels across the long term and the association of plaque levels with oral health. METHODS: The authors used data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. Collection of dental plaque data occurred at ages 5, 9, 15, 18, 26 and 32 years by means of the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index. The authors assessed oral health outcomes when participants were aged 32 years. Figure 1Plaque trajectory group plots. Simplified Oral Hygiene Index (OHI-S) plaque scores, according to age. RESULTS: The authors identified three plaque trajectory groups (high, n = 357; medium, n = 450; and low; n = 104) and found substantial, statistically significant differences in both caries and periodontal disease experience among those groups. For example, after the authors controlled for sex, socioeconomic status and dental visiting pattern, they found that participants in the high-plaque-trajectory group lost nearly five times more teeth owing to caries than did those in the low-plaque-trajectory group. CONCLUSIONS: Across the long term, participants in the high-plaque-trajectory group were more likely to experience caries, periodontal disease and subsequent tooth loss than were those in the low- or medium-plaque-trajectory groups, and they experienced all those conditions with greater severity. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Improving oral health requires emphasizing long-term self-care, as well as providing broad public health and health promotion measures that promote and support oral self-care. This study's findings suggest that poor oral hygiene and smoking have a synergistic effect on periodontal disease experience.
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Shearer, D.M., Thomson, W. M. , Broadbent, J. M. , Poulton, R. | 2011

Maternal oral health predicts their children's caries experience in adulthood

Journal of Dental Research, 2011, 90(90), 672-677.

Our ref: RO605

Show abstract » The long-term effects of poor maternal oral health are unknown. We determined whether maternal oral health when children were young was a risk indicator for caries experience in adulthood, using oral examination and interview data from age-5 and age-32 assessments in the Dunedin Study, and maternal self-rated oral health data from the age-5 assessment. The main outcome measure was probands' caries status at age 32. Analyses involved 835 individuals (82.3% of the surviving cohort) dentally examined at both ages, whose mothers were interviewed at the age-5 assessment. There was a consistent gradient in age-32 caries experience across the categories of maternal self-rated oral health status (from the age-5 assessment): it was greatest among the probands whose mothers rated their oral health as "poor" or who were edentulous, and lowest among those whose mothers rated their oral health as "excellent". Unfavorable maternal self-rated oral health when children are young should be regarded as a risk indicator for poor oral health among offspring as they reach adulthood.
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Shearer, D.M., Thomson, W. M. , Caspi, A., Moffitt, T.E., Broadbent, J. M. , Poulton, R. | 2011

Intergenerational continuity in periodontal health: findings from the Dunedin Study

Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2011, 38(38), 301-309.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2010.01687.x

Our ref: RO604

Show abstract » Objective: To determine whether parental periodontal disease history is a risk factor for periodontal disease in adult offspring. Methods: Proband periodontal examination [combined attachment loss (CAL) at age 32, and incidence of CAL from ages 26 to 32] and interview data were collected during the age-32 assessments in the Dunedin Study. Parental data were also collected. The sample was divided into two familial-risk groups for periodontal disease (high- and low-risk) based on parents' self-reported periodontal disease. Results: Periodontal risk analysis involved 625 proband-parent(s) groups. After controlling for confounding factors, the high-familial-risk periodontal group was more likely to have 11 sites with 41mm CAL [relative risk (RR) 1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11–1.88], 21 sites with 41mm CAL (RR 1.45; 95% CI 1.03–2.05), 11 sites with 51mm CAL (RR 1.60; 95% CI 1.02–2.50), and 11 sites with 31mm incident CAL (RR 1.64; 95% CI 1.01–2.66) than the low-familial-risk group. Predictive validity was enhanced when information was available from both parents. Conclusions: Parents with poor periodontal health tend to have offspring with poor periodontal health. Family/parental history of oral health is a valid representation of the shared genetic and environmental factors that contribute to an individual's periodontal status, and may help to predict patient prognosis and preventive treatment need.
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Crocombe, L. A. , Broadbent, J. M. , Thomson, W. M. , Brennan, D. S. , Slade, G. D. , Poulton, R. | 2011

Dental visiting trajectory patterns and their antecedents

Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 2011, 71(71), 23-31.

Our ref: RO603

Show abstract » Objective: This study aimed to test whether socioeconomic status (SES) in childhood may affect dental visiting patterns between ages 18 and 32 years. Methods: Using data from a complete birth cohort, childhood SES status was measured (using the New Zealand Elley-Irving index) at each study stage between birth and 15 years. Longitudinal dental visiting data were available for 833 study participants from ages 15, 18, 26, and 32, and these were analyzed by trajectory analysis. Results: Three separate dental visiting trajectories were identified; these were categorized as opportunists (13.1%), decliners (55.9%),and routine attenders (30.9%). Bivariate analyses showed low SES in childhood, male sex, and dental anxiety to be associated with membership of the "opportunist" dental visiting trajectory. Multinomial logistic regression showed that low childhood SES and dental anxiety were statistically significant predictors for membership in the opportunist or decliner trajectories after accounting for potential confounding variables. Conclusion: Individuals who grew up experiencing low childhood SES were less likely to adopt a routine dental visiting trajectory in adulthood than those with a high childhood SES. Dental anxiety was also an important predictor of dental visiting patterns.
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Moffitt, T.E., Arseneault, L. , Belsky, D.W., Dickson, N., Hancox, R. J. , Harrington, H. L., Houts, R., Poulton, R. , Roberts, B.W., Ross, S., Sears, M.R., Thomson, W. M. , Caspi, A. | 2011

A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety

PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA), 2011, 108(108), 2693-2698.

Our ref: RO602

Show abstract » Policy-makers are considering large-scale programs aimed at self-control to improve citizens' health and wealth and reduce crime. Experimental and economic studies suggest such programs could reap benefits. Yet, is self-control important for the health, wealth, and public safety of the population? Following a cohort of 1,000 children from birth to the age of 32 y, we show that childhood self-control predicts physical health, substance dependence, personal finances, and criminal offending outcomes, following a gradient of self-control. Effects of children's self-control could be disentangled from their intelligence and social class as well as from mistakes they made as adolescents. In another cohort of 500 sibling-pairs, the sibling with lower self-control had poorer outcomes, despite shared family background. Interventions addressing self-control might reduce a panoply of societal costs, save taxpayers money, and promote prosperity.
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Dawes, P. J., Welch, D. | 2010

Childhood hearing and its relationship with Tinnitus at thirty-two years of age

Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 2010, 119(119), 672-676.
Our ref: RO601.2

Show abstract » Objectives: Tinnitus is associated with hearing loss in adulthood, often resulting from noise or age, but it is not known whether children's hearing and/or middle ear health predispose them to tinnitus in adulthood. Methods: The participants were members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between April 1972 and March 1973. The base sample consisted of 1,037 children. Otitis media was assessed at 5,7, and 9 years of age; audiometry and tympanometry findings were recorded at 11 years of age, and a detailed description of the tympanic membrane was made at 15 years of age. At 32 years of age, 970 of the 1,015 living study members (96%) answered questions about tinnitus. Results: Children who had otitis media and a raised audiometric threshold went on to experience more tinnitus in adulthood than did those without middle ear disease or those who had otitis media without a raised threshold. In those who had recovered from otitis media, audiometric threshold elevation at lower and higher frequencies was associated with experiencing tinnitus in adulthood. Neither childhood otitis media alone nor elevated thresholds alone predicted adult tinnitus. Conclusions: Childhood otitis media with an associated hearing loss in the low and high frequencies was associated with a greater probability of experiencing tinnitus in adulthood.
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Poulton, R., Moffitt, T.E. | 2010

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study: tips and traps from a 40-year longitudinal study

International Journal of Behavioural Development, 2010, 34(34), 18-21.
Our ref: RO601

Show abstract » Overview of DMHDS - research strategy, research findings, sample retention strategies, challenges for launching new longitudinal research.
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Welch, D., McGee, R. | 2010

Breath holding predicts reduced smoking intake but not quitting

Open Addiction, 2010, 3(3), 39-42.
Our ref: RO600

Show abstract » Introduction: Cigarette smokers who attempt to quit may or may not relapse. Previous research has shown that breath-holding ability predicts successful quitting, and it has been suggested that breath-holding ability may be a marker of tolerance for uncomfortable physiological symptoms. Methods: We measured breath-holding ability and smoking in a large general-population birth cohort from age 21 to age 32. Results: Cross-sectionally, at age 21, breath-holding ability was greater in males who had quit smoking than in either current or non-smokers, while no such differences were observed amongst females. On the other hand, no prospective associations were detected between breath-holding ability and quitting smoking by age 32. Pack years smoked was lower amongst male smokers with better breath-holding ability at age 32. Discussion: While the cross-sectional finding in males was consistent with the hypothesis that those with more tolerance for breath holding would be more successful at quitting, there was no long-term effect to age 32. On the other hand, breath-holding was associated with reduced intake over time in males. A behavioural mechanism whereby longer breath holders smoke less because of a greater tolerance for the physical discomfort associated with intervals between cigarettes is consistent with these findings.
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Skegg, K. M., Nada-Raja, S. , Dickson, N. , Paul, C. | 2010

Perceived out of control sexual behavior in a cohort of young adults from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study

Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 2010, 39(39), 968-78.

Our ref: RO599

Show abstract » Out of control sexual behavior, also known as compulsive sexual behavior or sexual addiction, has not been studied in a representative sample of the general population. At age 32 years, 940 (93%) of 1,015 members of the birth cohort of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study responded to a series of questions about sexual behavior, administered by computer. We enquired about sexual fantasies, urges or behavior that participants regarded as out of control during the previous year, and defined such experiences as out of control sexual experiences (OCSE). Nearly 13% of men and 7% of women reported OCSE in the past year. Women who reported such experiences were more likely than other women to have reported (elsewhere in the interview) having had high numbers of opposite sex partners, concurrent sexual relationships, or sex with a partner met on the internet, as well as a higher likelihood of same-sex attraction or behavior. Among men reporting OCSE, there was an association with having paid for heterosexual sex and with same-sex attraction and behavior. Few believed that OCSE had interfered with their lives (3.8% of all men and 1.7% of all women in the cohort). Only 0.8% of men and 0.6% of women reported that their actual sexual behavior had interfered with their lives. OCSE were also analyzed in relation to certain personality traits and to childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Some evidence of a link with impulsivity (women only) and negative affectivity was found. CSA was associated with OCSE among men. In conclusion, this population-based study has provided the first empirical estimations of the occurrence of OCSE and its relationship to a range of sexual behaviors in a representative sample.
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Bell, M.L., van Roode, T., Dickson, N., Jang, Z., Paul, C. | 2010

Consistency and reliability of self-reported lifetime number of heterosexual partners by gender and age in a cohort study

Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 2010, 37(37), 425-431.
DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181d13ed8

Our ref: RO598

Show abstract » BACKGROUND:: The reported number of sexual partners is a variable used extensively in sexual health research. However, the reliability and consistency of this measure, and the statistical assessment of these attributes, are not well understood. METHODS:: Using data at ages 21, 26, and 32 years from a New Zealand birth cohort, we compared responses on the lifetime number of heterosexual sex partners to assess reliability and consistency. Differences by gender and age were considered, and the effect of number of sexual partners. A variety of analytical methods were used to explore statistical challenges of these data including variance estimation, fractional polynomial transformations, and quantile regression. RESULTS:: We found some level of discrepancy between reports of the number of sexual partners when assessed at different times is common, driven by those reporting a high number of partners who were disproportionately men. Men reported a higher lifetime number of partners than women at each age, and there were statistically significant differences by gender in (a) consistency between reports at different ages, and (b) reliability of reports as measured by both the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient and the Kappa statistic. CONCLUSIONS:: When considering reliability, multiple statistical approaches are necessary or conclusions can be misleading. Variance components should be examined when considering the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient. When modelling, robust methods like fractional polynomials and quantile regression should be employed to accommodate nonlinearity. Sensitivity analyses excluding participants whose partner number is in the upper 5% to 25% are informative, as these were shown to have the highest discrepancies.
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Richards, R., McGee, R., Williams, S.M., Welch, D. , Hancox, R. J. | 2010

Adolescent screen-time and attachment to parents and peers

Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2010, 164(164), 258-262.
Our ref: RO597

Show abstract » Objective: To examine associations between screen-time (television, video/DVD, gaming, computer use) and attachment to parents and peers in two cohorts of adolescents, 16 years apart. Design: Cross-sectional data regarding screen-time and attachment to parents and peers were collected for two cohorts of adolescents, one in 1987/88 (Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development cohort, DMHDS) and one in 2004 (Youth Lifestyle Study cohort, YLS). Setting: Members of the DMHDS cohort were interviewed as part of a full day of assessment and members of the YLS cohort completed a self-report questionnaire in a supervised classroom setting. Participants: The DMHDS cohort (n = 976 at age 15) was aged 15 years in 1987/88. The YLS cohort (n = 3043) was aged 14 and 15 years in 2004. Main outcome measures: Low attachment to parents and peers as measured by the Inventory of Parent and Peer attachment. Results: More time spent television viewing and less time reading and doing homework were associated with low parent attachment for both cohorts. Among the YLS cohort, more time playing on a computer was also associated with low parent attachment. Among the DMHDS cohort, greater television viewing was associated with low peer attachment. Conclusion: Screen-time was associated with poor attachment to parents and peers in two cohorts of adolescents, 16 years apart. Given the importance of parental and peer attachment to adolescent health and development, concern about high levels of screen-time among adolescents is warranted.
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Thomson, W. M. , Williams, S.M., Broadbent, J. M. , Poulton, R. , Locker, D. | 2010

Long-term dental visiting patterns and adult oral health

Journal of Dental Research, 2010, 89(89), 307-311.

Our ref: RO596

Show abstract » To date, the evidence supporting the benefits of dental visiting comes from cross-sectional studies. We investigated whether long-term routine dental visiting was associated with lower experience of dental caries and missing teeth, and better self-rated oral health, by age 32. A prospective cohort study in New Zealand examined 932 participants' use of dentistry at ages 15, 18, 26, and 32. At each age, routine attenders (RAs) were identified as those who (a) usually visited for a check-up, and (b) had made a dental visit during the previous 12 months. Routine attending prevalence fell from 82% at age 15 to 28% by 32. At any given age, routine attenders had better-than-average oral health, fewer had teeth missing due to caries, and they had lower mean DS and DMFS scores. By age 32, routine attenders had better self-reported oral health and less tooth loss and caries. The longer routine attendance was maintained, the stronger the effect. Routine dental attendance is associated with better oral health.
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Reichenberg, A., Caspi, A. , Harrington, H. L., Houts, R., Keefe, R., Murray, R. M., Poulton, R. , Moffitt, T. E. | 2010

Static and dynamic cognitive deficits in childhood preceding adult schizophrenia: a 30-year study

American Journal of Psychiatry, 2010, 167(167), 160-169.

Our ref: RO595

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: Premorbid cognitive deficits in schizophrenia are well documented and have been interpreted as supporting a neurodevelopmental etiological model. The authors investigated the following three unresolved questions about premorbid cognitive deficits: What is their developmental course? Do all premorbid cognitive deficits follow the same course? Are premorbid cognitive deficits specific to schizophrenia or shared by other psychiatric disorders? METHOD: Participants were members of a representative cohort of 1,037 males and females born between 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand. Cohort members underwent follow-up evaluations at specific intervals from age 3 to 32 years, with a 96% retention rate. Cognitive development was analyzed and compared in children who later developed schizophrenia or recurrent depression as well as in healthy comparison subjects. RESULTS: Children who developed adult schizophrenia exhibited developmental deficits (i.e., static cognitive impairments that emerge early and remain stable) on tests indexing verbal and visual knowledge acquisition, reasoning, and conceptualization. In addition, these children exhibited developmental lags (i.e., growth that is slower relative to healthy comparison subjects) on tests indexing processing speed, attention, visual-spatial problem solving ability, and working memory. These two premorbid cognitive patterns were not observed in children who later developed recurrent depression. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the origins of schizophrenia include two interrelated developmental processes evident from childhood to early adolescence (ages 7-13 years). Children who will grow up to develop adult schizophrenia enter primary school struggling with verbal reasoning and lag further behind their peers in working memory, attention, and processing speed as they get older.
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Hancox, R. J. , Poulton, R., Ely, M., Welch, D., Taylor, D. R. , McLachlan, C. R. , Greene, J. M. , Moffitt, T. E. , Caspi, A., Sears, M.R. | 2010

Effects of cannabis on lung function: a population-based cohort study

European Respiratory Journal, 2010, 35(35), 42-47.
Our ref: RO594

Show abstract » The effects of cannabis on lung function remain unclear and may be different to tobacco. We compared the associations between use of these substances and lung function in a population-based cohort (n=1037). Cannabis and tobacco use were reported at ages 18, 21, 26, and 32 years. Spirometry, plethysmography, and carbon monoxide transfer factor were measured at age 32. Associations between lung function and exposure to each substance were adjusted for exposure to the other substance. Cumulative cannabis use was associated with higher forced vital capacity, total lung capacity, functional residual capacity, and residual volume. Cannabis was also associated with higher airways resistance but not with forced expiratory volume in 1 second, forced expiratory ratio, or transfer factor. These findings were similar amongst those who did not smoke tobacco. By contrast, tobacco use was associated with lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second, lower forced expiratory ratio, lower transfer factor, and higher static lung volumes, but not with airways resistance. Cannabis appears to have different effects on lung function to those of tobacco. Cannabis use was associated with higher lung volumes suggesting hyperinflation and increased large-airways resistance, but there was little evidence for airflow obstruction or impairment of gas transfer.
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Moffitt, T.E., Caspi, A., Taylor, A., Kokaua, J./Milne, B.J., Polanczyk, G., Poulton, R. | 2010

How common are common mental disorders? Evidence that lifetime prevalence rates are doubled by prospective versus retrospective ascertainment

Psychological Medicine, 2010, 40(40), 899-909.

Our ref: RO589

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Most information about the lifetime prevalence of mental disorders comes from retrospective surveys, but how much these surveys have undercounted due to recall failure is unknown. We compared results from a prospective study with those from retrospective studies.MethodThe representative 1972-1973 Dunedin New Zealand birth cohort (n=1037) was followed to age 32 years with 96% retention, and compared to the national New Zealand Mental Health Survey (NZMHS) and two US National Comorbidity Surveys (NCS and NCS-R). Measures were research diagnoses of anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence and cannabis dependence from ages 18 to 32 years. RESULTS: The prevalence of lifetime disorder to age 32 was approximately doubled in prospective as compared to retrospective data for all four disorder types. Moreover, across disorders, prospective measurement yielded a mean past-year-to-lifetime ratio of 38% whereas retrospective measurement yielded higher mean past-year-to-lifetime ratios of 57% (NZMHS, NCS-R) and 65% (NCS). CONCLUSIONS: Prospective longitudinal studies complement retrospective surveys by providing unique information about lifetime prevalence. The experience of at least one episode of DSM-defined disorder during a lifetime may be far more common in the population than previously thought. Research should ask what this means for etiological theory, construct validity of the DSM approach, public perception of stigma, estimates of the burden of disease and public health policy.
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Danese, A. , Moffitt, T. E. , Harrington, H. L., Milne, B. J. , Polanczyk, G., Pariante, C.M., Poulton, R. , Caspi, A. | 2009

Adverse childhood experiences and adult risk factors for age-related disease: depression, inflammation, and clustering of metabolic risk markers

Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2009, 163(163), 1135-1143.

Our ref: RO593

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: To understand why children exposed to adverse psychosocial experiences are at elevated risk for age-related disease, such as cardiovascular disease, by testing whether adverse childhood experiences predict enduring abnormalities in stress-sensitive biological systems, namely, the nervous, immune, and endocrine/metabolic systems. DESIGN: A 32-year prospective longitudinal study of a representative birth cohort. SETTING: New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1037 members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. Main Exposures During their first decade of life, study members were assessed for exposure to 3 adverse psychosocial experiences: socioeconomic disadvantage, maltreatment, and social isolation. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: At age 32 years, study members were assessed for the presence of 3 age-related-disease risks: major depression, high inflammation levels (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level >3 mg/L), and the clustering of metabolic risk biomarkers (overweight, high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high glycated hemoglobin, and low maximum oxygen consumption levels. RESULTS: Children exposed to adverse psychosocial experiences were at elevated risk of depression, high inflammation levels, and clustering of metabolic risk markers. Children who had experienced socioeconomic disadvantage (incidence rate ratio, 1.89; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-2.62), maltreatment (1.81; 1.38-2.38), or social isolation (1.87; 1.38-2.51) had elevated age-related-disease risks in adulthood. The effects of adverse childhood experiences on age-related-disease risks in adulthood were nonredundant, cumulative, and independent of the influence of established developmental and concurrent risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: Children exposed to adverse psychosocial experiences have enduring emotional, immune, and metabolic abnormalities that contribute to explaining their elevated risk for age-related disease. The promotion of healthy psychosocial experiences for children is a necessary and potentially cost-effective target for the prevention of age-related disease.
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Ioannidis, J.P.A., Loy, E.Y., Poulton, R., Chia, K.S. | 2009

Researching genetic versus nongenetic determinants of disease: A comparison and proposed unification

Science Translational Medicine, 2009, 1(1), 7ps8.
doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3000247

Our ref: RO592.2

Show abstract » Research standards deviate in genetic versus nongenetic epidemiology. Besides some immutable differences, such as the correlation pattern between variables, these divergent research standards can converge considerably. Current research designs that dissociate genetic and nongenetic measurements are reaching their limits. Studies are needed that massively measure genotypes, nongenetic exposures, and outcomes concurrently.
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Hancox, R. J. , Poulton, R. , Welch, D. , Olova, N. , McLachlan, C. R. , Greene, J. M. , Sears, M. R. , Caspi, A. , Moffitt, T. E. , Robertson, S. P. , Braithwaite, A. W. | 2009

Accelerated decline in lung function in cigarette smokers is associated with TP53/MDM2 polymorphisms

Human Genetics, 2009, 126(126), 559-565. (Electronic)

Our ref: RO592

Show abstract » In vitro studies have shown that p53 mediates a protective response against DNA damage by causing either cell-cycle arrest and DNA repair, or apoptosis. These responses have not yet been demonstrated in humans. A common source of DNA damage in humans is cigarette smoke, which should activate p53 repair mechanisms. As the level of p53 is regulated by MDM2, which targets p53 for degradation, the G-allele of a polymorphism in intron 1 of MDM2 (rs2279744:G/T), that results in higher MDM2 levels, should be associated with a reduced p53 response and hence more DNA damage and corresponding tissue destruction. Similarly, the alleles of rs1042522 in TP53 that encode arginine (G-allele) or proline (C-allele) at codon 72, which cause increased pro-apoptotic (G-allele) or cell-cycle arrest activities (C-allele), respectively, may moderate p53's ability to prevent DNA damage. To test these hypotheses, we examined lung function in relation to cumulative history of smoking in a population-based cohort. The G-alleles in MDM2 and TP53 were found to be associated with accelerated smoking-related decline in lung function. These data support the hypothesis that p53 protects from DNA damage in humans and provides a potential explanation for the variation in lung function impairment amongst smokers.
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Mandhane, P. J. , Sears, M.R., Poulton, R., Greene, J. M. , Lou, W.Y., Taylor, D. R. , Hancox, R. J. | 2009

Cats and dogs and the risk of atopy in childhood and adulthood

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2009, 124(124), 745-750.e4.

Our ref: RO591

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Exposure to cats and dogs during childhood has been linked to a lower risk of developing allergies. It remains unclear whether this is due to selective avoidance of pets by families with a history of allergies. The effects of pet ownership in adulthood are unknown. OBJECTIVES: We sought to assess the association between cat and dog ownership in childhood and early adulthood and the development of atopy in a population-based birth cohort of 1037 subjects. METHODS: Ownership of cats or dogs between birth and age 9 years and between the ages of 18 and 32 years was reported. Skin prick tests to common allergens were performed at 13 and 32 years. RESULTS: There was no evidence that families with a history of atopy avoided owning pets. There were significant cat-by-dog interactions for the development of atopy in both childhood and adulthood. Children who had owned both a cat and a dog were less likely to be atopic at age 13 years. Living with only one of these animals was not protective against atopy. Among those who were not atopic by age 13 years, having both a cat and a dog in adulthood was associated with a lower risk of new atopy by age 32 years. This association was only significant among those with a parental history of atopy. These effects were independent of a range of potential confounding factors. CONCLUSIONS: There is a synergistic interaction between cat and dog exposure that is associated with a lower risk of developing atopy in childhood and young adulthood.
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Polanczyk, G., Caspi, A., Williams, B.S., Price, T.S., Danese, A. , Sugden, K., Uher, R., Poulton, R., Moffitt, T. E. | 2009

Protective effect of CHHR1 gene variants on the development of adult depression following childhood maltreatment: Replication and extension

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2009, 66(66), 978-985.

Our ref: RO590

Show abstract » Context A previous study reported a genexenvironment interaction in which a haplotype in the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 gene (CRHR1) was associated with protection against adult depressive symptoms in individuals who were maltreated as children (as assessed by the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire [CTQ]). Objective To replicate the interaction between childhood maltreatment and a TAT haplotype formed by rs7209436, rs110402, and rs242924 in CRHR1, predicting adult depression. Design Two prospective longitudinal cohort studies. Setting England and New Zealand. Participants Participants in the first sample were women in the E-Risk Study (N=1116), followed up to age 40 years with 96% retention. Participants in the second sample were men and women in the Dunedin Study (N=1037), followed up to age 32 years with 96% retention. Main Outcome Measure Research diagnoses of past-year and recurrent major depressive disorder. Results In the E-Risk Study, the TAT haplotype was associated with a significant protective effect. In this effect, women who reported childhood maltreatment on the CTQ were protected against depression. In the Dunedin Study, which used a different type of measure of maltreatment, this finding was not replicated. Conclusions A haplotype in CRHR1 has been suggested to exert a protective effect against adult depression among research participants who reported maltreatment on the CTQ, a measure that elicits emotional memories. This suggests the hypothesis that CRHR1's protective effect may relate to its function in the consolidation of memories of emotionally arousing experiences.
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Grisham, J. R. , Anderson, T. M. , Poulton, R. , Moffitt, T. E. , Andrews, G. | 2009

Childhood neuropsychological deficits associated with adult obsessive-compulsive disorder

British Journal of Psychiatry, 2009, 195(195), 138-141. (Electronic)

Our ref: RO587

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Existing neuropsychological studies of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are cross-sectional and do not provide evidence of whether deficits are trait-related (antecedent and independent of symptomatology) or state-related (a consequence, dependent on symptomatology). AIMS: To investigate whether there are premorbid neuropsychological deficits associated with adult OCD. METHOD: Longitudinal data were collected from participants of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Developmental study. Neuropsychological data collected at age 13 were linked with age 32 diagnosis of OCD. RESULTS: The group who had OCD at age 32 differed significantly from the control group with no OCD on their performance at age 13 on neuropsychological tests of visuospatial, visuoconstructive and visuomotor skills, controlling for gender and socioeconomic status, but did not differ on tests of general IQ or verbal ability. Performance of the group with OCD on tests of executive functioning was mixed. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with OCD have premorbid impairment in visuospatial abilities and some forms of executive functioning, consistent with biological models of OCD.
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Sutherland, T.J.T., Taylor, D.R. , Sears, M.R., McLachlan, C. R. , Greene, J.M., Poulton, R., Hancox, R. J. | 2009

Leptin, adiponectin and asthma: findings from a population-based cohort study

Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 2009, 103(103), 101-107.
Our ref: RO586

Show abstract » Background: Obesity is thought to increase the risk of asthma, especially in women. It has been proposed that this association could be due to the immune-modulating effect of adipokines secreted by adipose tissue. Objective: To investigate whether aspects of the asthma phenotype are associated with higher levels of the proinflammatory adipokine leptin and lower levels of the anti-inflammatory adipokine adiponectin in a cross-sectional analysis of a group of young adults. Methods: Associations between leptin and adiponectin and a diagnosis of asthma, symptoms of wheeze, bronchodilator response, airflow obstruction, and exhaled nitric oxide were evaluated by logistic or linear regression in a population-based birth cohort of approximately 1,000 men and women aged 32 years. Further analyses adjusted for smoking and body fat. Results: There were no significant associations between leptin and any of the markers of the asthma phenotype in either men or women. In men, higher levels of adiponectin were associated with lower levels of exhaled nitric oxide but an increased risk of bronchodilator responsiveness. The inverse association with exhaled nitric oxide remained significant after adjustment for body fat, but the association with bronchodilator responsiveness did not. Adiponectin levels were not associated with any markers of asthma in women. Conclusions: The inverse association between adiponectin and exhaled nitric oxide in men warrants further investigation. However, the findings indicate that levels of leptin and adiponectin are unlikely to mediate the previously observed association between obesity and asthma.
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Milne, B. J. , Caspi, A. , Harrington, H. L., Poulton, R. , Rutter, M. , Moffitt, T. E. | 2009

Predictive value of family history on severity of illness: the case for depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence, and drug dependence

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2009, 66(66), 738-47.

Our ref: RO585

Show abstract » CONTEXT: If family history is associated with clinical features that are thought to index seriousness of disorder, this could inform clinicians predicting patients' prognosis and researchers selecting cases for genetic studies. Although tests of associations between family history and clinical features are numerous for depression, such tests are relatively lacking for other disorders. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that family history is associated with 4 clinical indexes of disorder (recurrence, impairment, service use, and age at onset) in relation to 4 psychiatric disorders (major depressive episode, anxiety disorder, alcohol dependence, and drug dependence). DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal cohort study. SETTING: New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 981 members of the 1972 to 1973 Dunedin Study birth cohort (96% retention). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: For each disorder, family history scores were calculated as the proportion of affected family members from data on 3 generations of the participants' families. Data collected prospectively at the study's repeated assessments (ages 11-32 years) were used to assess recurrence, impairment, and age at onset; data collected by means of a life history calendar at age 32 years were used to assess service use. RESULTS: Family history was associated with the presence of all 4 disorder types. In addition, family history was associated with a more recurrent course for all 4 disorders (but not significantly for women with depression), worse impairment, and greater service use. Family history was not associated with younger age at onset for any disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Associations between family history of a disorder and clinical features of that disorder in probands showed consistent direction of effects across depression, anxiety disorder, alcohol dependence, and drug dependence. For these disorder types, family history is useful for determining patients' clinical prognosis and for selecting cases for genetic studies.
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Thomson, W. M. , Broadbent, J. M. , Locker, D., Poulton, R. | 2009

Trajectories of dental anxiety in a birth cohort

Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 2009, 37(37), 209-219.

Our ref: RO584

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: To examine predictors of dental anxiety trajectories in a longitudinal study of New Zealanders. METHODS: Prospective study of a complete birth cohort born in 1972/73 in Dunedin, New Zealand, with dental anxiety scale (DAS) scores and dental utilization determined at ages 15, 18, 26 and 32 years. Personality traits were assessed at a superfactor and (more fine-grained) subscale level via the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire at age 18 years. Group-based trajectory analysis was used to identify dental anxiety trajectories. RESULTS: DAS scores from at least three assessments were available for 828 participants. Six dental anxiety trajectories were observed: stable nonanxious low (39.6%); stable nonanxious medium (37.9%); recovery (1.6%); adult-onset anxious (7.7%); stable anxious (7.2%) and adolescent-onset anxious (5.9%). Multivariate analysis showed that males and those with higher DMFS at age 15 years were more likely to be in the stable nonanxious low trajectory group. Membership of the stable nonanxious medium group was predicted by the dental caries experience at age 15 years. Participants who had lost one or more teeth between ages 26 and 32 years had almost twice the relative risk for membership of the adult-onset anxious group. Personality traits predicted group membership. Specifically, high scorers (via median split) on the 'stress reaction' subscale had over twice the risk of being in the stable anxious group; low scorers on the traditionalism subscale were more likely to be members of the recovery trajectory group; and high scorers on the 'social closeness' subscale had half the risk of being in the stable anxious group. Dental caries experience at age 5 years was also a predictor for the stable anxious group. Membership of the late-adolescent-onset anxious group was predicted by higher dental caries experience by age 15 years, but none of the other predictors was significant. CONCLUSION: Six discrete trajectories of dental anxiety have been observed. Some trajectories (totalling more than 90% of the cohort) had clear associations with external influences, but others were more strongly associated with characteristics such as personality traits. A mix of both influences was observed with only the stable anxious dental anxiety trajectory.
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Welch, D., Poulton, R. | 2009

Personality influences on change in smoking behaviour

Health Psychology, 2009, 28(28), 292-299.

Our ref: RO583

Show abstract » Objective: To investigate associations between personality traits in early adulthood (and changes in them) and change in smoking status. Design: Prospective, longitudinal study of a general-population birth cohort. Main Outcome Measures: We measured smoking at ages 18, 26, and 32, and personality at ages 18 and 26 using the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (Tellegen & Waller, in press). We assessed personality's ability to predict future smoking, and assessed how changes in personality traits relate to change in smoking status. Results: Higher aggression and alienation at age 18 predicted smoking at 26; higher self-control and traditionalism at age 18 predicted nonsmoking at 26; and higher alienation at age 26 predicted persistence of smoking to age 32. Personality change between 18 and 26 was associated with change in smoking behavior; those who stopped smoking decreased more than others in negative emotionality and increased more in constraint. Conclusion: These findings suggest that interventions fostering personality change may be effective in reducing smoking and indicate appropriate targets for such antismoking interventions in young people. In particular, high alienation predicted smoking persistence, perhaps due to resistance to existing antismoking messages; we discuss approaches that may overcome this.
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van Roode, T., Dickson, N., Herbison, G. P. , Paul, C. | 2009

Child sexual abuse and persistence of risky sexual behaviours and negative sexual outcomes over adulthood: findings from a birth cohort.

Child Abuse and Neglect, 2009, 33(33), 161-172.
Our ref: RO582

Show abstract » OBJECTIVES: To determine the impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on adult sexual behaviors and outcomes over three age periods. METHODS: A longitudinal study of a birth cohort born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972/1973 was used. Information on CSA was sought at age 26, and on sexual behaviors and outcomes at ages 21, 26, and 32. Comparisons were over the whole period from age 18 to 32, then for the three age periods from age 18 to 21, 21 to 26, and 26 to 32, adjusting for measures of family environment. RESULTS: Overall, 465 women and 471 men (91.9% of the surviving cohort) answered questions about CSA. Contact CSA was reported by 30.3% of women and 9.1% of men. For abused women, significantly increased rates were observed for number of sexual partners, unhappy pregnancies, abortion, and sexually transmitted infections from age 18 to 21; with rates approaching those of nonabused over time. Conversely, for abused men rates were not significantly elevated in the youngest age period, but were for number of partners from age 26 to 32 and acquisition of herpes simplex virus type 2 from age 21 to 32. CONCLUSIONS: Gender and age are critical when considering the effect of CSA. While the profound early impact of CSA demonstrated for women appears to lessen with age, abused men appear to carry increased risks into adulthood. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: CSA is common and should be considered when young women present with unwanted conceptions or seek multiple terminations, and when men continue to have high risk sexual behavior into adulthood. Furthermore, if CSA is disclosed, sexual risks in adulthood need to be considered.
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Gregory, A. M. , Caspi, A., Moffitt, T. E. , Poulton, R. | 2009

Sleep problems in childhood predict neuropsychological functioning in adolescence

Pediatrics, 2009, 123(123), 1171-1176.

Our ref: RO581

Show abstract » OBJECTIVES: Our goal was to examine the association between parent-rated sleep problems during childhood and neuropsychological functioning during adolescence. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: Longitudinal prospective data on an entire birth cohort from Dunedin, New Zealand, were obtained. One thousand thirty-seven children were enrolled in the study (52% male). Parents reported on sleep problems when the study members were 5, 7, and 9 years of age. Neuropsychological functioning was assessed by using 7 tests when the participants were 13 years of age. RESULTS: After adjusting for gender and socioeconomic status, persistent sleep problems during childhood predicted scores on 2 neuropsychological tests: the copy score of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test and 2 measures of performance on the Halstead Trail Making Test. These results were substantively replicated when sleep was assessed at the 5- and 9-year (but not 7-year) assessments separately. CONCLUSIONS: Sleep problems during childhood may be associated with certain aspects of neuropsychological functioning during adolescence. This adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that childhood sleep problems may be a risk indicator of later difficulties.
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Tai, E Shyong , Poulton, R. , Thumboo, J., Sy, R., Castillo-Carandang, N., Sritara, P., Adam, J.M.F., Sim, K.H., Fong, A., Wee, H.L., Woodward, M. | 2009

An update on cardiovascular disease epidemiology in South East Asia. Rationale and design of the LIFE course study in CARdiovascular disease Epidemiology (LIFECARE)

CVD Prevention & Control, 2009, 4(4), 93-102.

Our ref: RO580

Show abstract » The burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is likely to increase dramatically in Asia over the next several decades. In this paper, we review the existing data on CVD epidemiology in Asia, with a focus on the INTERHEART study and the Asia Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration. Existing data suggest that much of CVD may be preventable through reduction in the levels of well-established CVD risk factors. Existing studies in Asia suggest that these findings are likely to be relevant to Asian populations. However, these studies have several important limitations. These include a lack of longitudinal studies with collection of repeated measures of CVD risk factors and the environmental factors that may result in the age-related increase in the levels of these risk factors. As such, the natural history of the development of CVD risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia in Asia, and their relationship in terms of duration and timing of exposure to various environmental influences is currently unknown. In addition, there is a paucity of data related to psychosocial factors that may be involved in the pathogenesis of CVD, either directly or through effects on other CVD risk factors. Finally, little data is available with regards the impact of CVD and its attendant risk factors on health related quality of life and health care utilization. This information is crucial for the design and evaluation of evidence based programs for primary prevention. We have designed a LIFE Course Study in CARdiovascular disease Epidemiology (LIFECARE) involving 12,000 individuals in four South East Asian countries to address these data needs.
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Gregory, A. M. , Caspi, A. , Moffitt, T. E. , Milne, B.J., Poulton, R. , Sears, M.R. | 2009

Links between anxiety and allergies: Psychobiological reality or methodological bias?

Journal of Personality, 2009, 77(77), 347-362.
Our ref: RO578

Show abstract » The objective of the study was to examine the link between anxiety and allergies to establish whether it reflects a psychobiological reality or a possible methodological bias. A cohort of 1,037 children enrolled in the study. Anxiety disorders were assessed between 11 and 21 years. Anxious personality was assessed at 18 years. Allergies were examined at 21 years by (a) self reports, (b) skin pricks, and (c) serum total immunoglobulin E (IgE). Self-reported allergies were predicted by recurrent anxiety disorders (OR [95% CI]51.56 [1.062.30], p5.023) and self-reports of anxious personality (OR [95% CI]51.67 [1.172.37], p5.004): Objectively verified allergies were not. These results suggest that the link between anxiety and allergies may reflect a methodological artifact rather than a psychobiological reality.
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Hancox, R. J. , Poulton, R., Greene, J. M. , McLachlan, C. R. , Pearce, M. S. , Sears, M.R. | 2009

Associations between birth weight, early childhood weight gain and adult lung function

Thorax, 2009, 64(64), 228-232.

Our ref: RO577

Show abstract » Background. Low birth weight is associated with lower values for spirometry in adults but it is unknown if birth weight influences other measures of pulmonary function. It is also unclear whether post-natal growth affects adult lung function. We assessed the associations between birth weight, post-natal growth and adult lung function in an unselected birth cohort of 1037 children. Methods. Birth weight, weight gain between birth and age 3 years, and lung function at age 32 years were measured. Analyses adjusted for adult height and sex and further adjusted for multiple other potential confounding factors. Results. Birth weight was positively correlated with spirometric (FEV1 and FVC) and plethysmographic (TLC and FRC) lung function and with lung diffusing capacity. These associations persisted after adjustment for confounding factors including adult weight, exposure to cigarette smoke in utero and during childhood, personal smoking, socio-economic status, asthma, and gestational age. Weight gain between birth and age 3 was also positively associated with lung diffusing capacity, and was associated with higher values of lung volumes in men after adjustment for covariates. Neither birth weight nor post-natal weight gain were associated with airflow obstruction. Conclusions. Low birth weight and lower weight gain in early childhood are associated with modest reductions in adult lung function across a broad range of measures of lung volumes and with lower diffusing capacity. These findings are independent of a number of potential confounding factors and support the hypothesis that foetal and infant growth is a determinant of adult lung function.
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Paul, C., van Roode, T., Herbison, G. P. , Dickson, N. | 2009

Longitudinal study of self-reported sexually transmitted infection incidence by gender and age up to age thirty-two years

Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 2009, 36(36), 63-69.

Our ref: RO576

Show abstract » OBJECTIVES: To examine how incidence of self-reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs) varies by gender and age, and the factors that influence this. METHODS: A longitudinal study of a cohort born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972/1973. They were questioned about STIs and sexual behavior at age 21, 26, and 32 years (1993-2005). Incidence rates were calculated over 3 age periods and compared using Poisson regression. RESULTS: Of the 1037 members of the original cohort, 92% or more of survivors completed the computer questionnaire at each age. Incidence rates of STIs from first coitus to age 21, age 21 to 26, and age 26 to 32, were 2.0, 3.2, and 2.0 per 100 person-years, respectively for men and 4.4, 3.0, and 1.4 per 100 person-years, respectively for women. After adjustment for sexual behavior, rates for men were elevated from age 21 to 26 compared with first coitus to 21 years of age [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3 to 2.8), but not from age 26 to 32 (IRR = 1.1, 95% CI 0.70-1.9). For women, adjusted rates decreased with age; from 21 to 26 compared with first coitus to 21 (IRR = 0.79, 95% CI 0.56-1.1) and further from 26 to 32 (IRR = 0.39, 95% CI 0.27-0.57). CONCLUSIONS: These unique data, comprising repeated assessment of reported behaviors and STIs in the same population, show that the period before age 21 is a time of special risk for STIs for women and of lower risk for men. The low risk among women aged 26 to 32 years after adjustment for sexual behavior warrants further investigation.
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