Publications

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

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Dickson, N. P. , Ryding, J. , van Roode, T. , Paul, C. , Herbison, P. , Dillner, J. , Skegg, D. C. | 2009

Male circumcision and serologically determined human papillomavirus infection in a birth cohort

Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2009, 18(18), 177-83.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19124496

Our ref: RO575

Show abstract » Circumcision has been reported to protect against infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) in men, but results have been inconsistent. We followed males in a birth cohort born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1972 and 1973 from age 3 to 32 years. Seropositivity at age 32 years for the oncogenic types HPV-16 and 18, and the nononcogenic types 6 and 11, was studied in relation to maternal reports of circumcision status at age 3 for 450 men. Seropositivity to any of these types was associated with lifetime number of sexual partners (P = 0.03), and lower moral-religious emphasis of the family of origin (P < 0.001). Circumcision was not found to be protective, with the adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for HPV6/11/16/18 seropositivity among the circumcised compared with the uncircumcised being 1.4 (0.89-2.2).
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Fullana, M. A. , Mataix-Cols, D. , Caspi, A. , Harrington, H. L., Grisham, J. R. , Moffitt, T. E. , Poulton, R. | 2009

Obsessions and compulsions in the community: Prevalence, interference, help-seeking, developmental stability and co-occurring psychiatric conditions

American Journal of Psychiatry, 2009, 166(166), 329-336.
Our ref: RO574

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: It is unclear how many people in the community have obsessions and compulsions and associated levels of interference. It is also unknown what variables predict help-seeking for these symptoms, whether they are developmentally stable, and whether they increase the risk of mental disorders. METHOD: The authors analyzed data from the prospective longitudinal Dunedin study of an unselected birth cohort. The presence of obsessions and compulsions and mental disorders was assessed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) at ages 11, 26, and 32. Data on interference and help-seeking were obtained at ages 26 and 32. RESULTS: Obsessions and compulsions were frequent in individuals with mental disorders other than obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and among people without mental disorders. Even in the latter group, these symptoms caused significant interference. The presence of anxiety/depression and of obsessions (particularly aggressive and shameful thoughts), but not compulsions, was associated with help-seeking. Harm/checking was the most prevalent symptom dimension. Symptom dimensions were temporally stable and associated with increased comorbidity. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms at age 11 predicted a high risk of an adult OCD diagnosis as well as elevated adult symptom dimensions. CONCLUSIONS: Obsessions and compulsions are common in the adult population, have their roots in childhood, and are associated with interference, risk for disorders, and help-seeking. Subclinical obsessions and compulsions should be taken into account in research, intervention, and DSM-V.
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Richards, R., Poulton, R., Reeder, A.I., Williams, S.M. | 2009

Childhood and contemporaneous correlates of adolescent physical inactivity: a longitudinal study

Journal of Adolescent Health, 2009, 44(44), 260-267.
Our ref: RO573

Show abstract » PURPOSE: Although concurrent influences on adolescent physical activity are well documented, longitudinal studies offer additional insights about early life antecedents of participation. The aim of this study was to examine associations between childhood and contemporaneous factors and patterns of physical activity participation during adolescence. METHODS: Physical activity participation at ages 15 and 18 was assessed among members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study cohort using the interview-based Minnesota Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to examine associations between childhood factors (socioeconomic status, family active-recreation orientation, home activities, motor ability, intelligence, and psychiatric disorder), contemporaneous factors (parental health, body mass index, predicted VO(2 max), general health, television viewing, smoking, and alcohol use) and persistent inactivity, declining participation, or persistent activity during adolescence. RESULTS: In multivariate models, persistent inactivity during adolescence was associated with lower childhood family active-recreation orientation, and poorer cardiorespiratory fitness and general health during adolescence. Declining participation was more likely among those who reported fewer activities at home during childhood. Persistent activity was associated with better cardiorespiratory fitness and watching less television during adolescence. CONCLUSIONS: This study found that childhood and contemporaneous factors were associated with persistent inactivity, persistent activity and declining participation during adolescence. The findings highlight several factors from the family and home environment of potential importance in early intervention programs to support adolescent participation in physical activity.
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Williams, S. M. , Goulding, A. | 2009

Patterns of Growth Associated With the Timing of Adiposity Rebound

Obesity, 2009, 17(17), 335-341.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19057527

Our ref: RO572

Show abstract » This study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of age of adiposity rebound (AR) on measures of fat mass between ages 7 and 11 years, maturity, and adiposity in 458 children from a birth cohort studied to age 26 years. Patterns of growth between ages 3 and 26 years and changes in fat mass index between 7 and 11 years in groups with early (<5.5 years for boys and <5 years for girls), average (between 5.5 and 7.5 years for boys and between 5 and 7 years for girls), and late AR (>/=7.5 years for boys and >/=7 years for girls) are described. The mean z-scores for BMI, height, and weight increased between age 3 years and adolescence in the early-rebound group and decreased in the late-rebound group. The differences were maintained until adulthood for BMI and weight. Disproportionately high increases in fat mass index during growth (7-11 years), more advanced bone age in boys at age 7 years, and earlier menarche in girls were evident in the early-rebound group. The relative risks at 26 years of being overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m(2)) and obese (BMI >/=30 kg/m(2)) were 2.70 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.55, 4.66) and 5.91 (95% CI: 3.03, 11.55) respectively, using the average group as the reference. The corresponding relative risks for adult waist girths exceeding international cut points were 2.12 (95% CI: 1.09, 4.13) and 3.32 (95% CI: 1.46, 7.54). Thus, early rebound is associated with increased depositions of fat in middle childhood, and risks associated with early rebound persist at least until early adulthood.
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Koenen, K., Moffitt, T. E. , Roberts, A., Martin, L., Kubzansky, L., Harrington, H. L., Poulton, R., Caspi, A. | 2009

Childhood IQ and adult mental disorders: A test of the cognitive reserve hypothesis

American Journal of Psychiatry, 2009, 166(166), 50-57.
Our ref: RO571

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: Cognitive reserve has been proposed as important in the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, tests of the association between premorbid IQ and adult mental disorders other than schizophrenia have been limited and inconclusive. The authors tested the hypothesis that low childhood IQ is associated with increased risk and severity of adult mental disorders. METHOD: Participants were members of a representative 1972–1973 birth cohort of 1,037 males and females in Dunedin, New Zealand, who were followed up to age 32 with 96% retention. WISC-R IQ was assessed at ages 7, 9, and 11. Research diagnoses of DSM mental disorders were made at ages 18, 21, 26, and 32. RESULTS: Lower childhood IQ was associated with increased risk of developing schizophrenia spectrum disorder, adult depression, and adult anxiety. Lower childhood IQ was also associated with greater comorbidity and with persistence of depression; the association with persistence of generalized anxiety disorder was nearly significant. Higher childhood IQ predicted increased risk of adult mania. CONCLUSIONS: Lower cognitive reserve, as reflected by childhood IQ, is an antecedent of several common psychiatric disorders and also predicts persistence and comorbidity. Thus, many patients who seek mental health treatment may have lower cognitive ability; this should be considered in prevention and treatment planning.
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Milne, B. J. , Caspi, A. , Crump, R., Poulton, R., Rutter, M. , Sears, M.R., Moffitt, T. E. | 2009

The validity of the Family History Screen for assessing family history of mental disorders

American Journal Of Medical Genetics B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 2009, 150(150B), 41-49.
Our ref: RO570

Show abstract » There is a need to collect psychiatric family history information quickly and economically (e.g., for genome-wide studies and primary care practice). We sought to evaluate the validity of family history reports using a brief screening instrument, the Family History Screen (FHS). We assessed the validity of parents' reports of seven psychiatric disorders in their adult children probands from the Dunedin Study (n = 959, 52% male), using the proband's diagnosis as the criterion outcome. We also investigated whether there were informant characteristics that enhanced accuracy of reporting or were associated with reporting biases. Using reports from multiple informants, we obtained sensitivities ranging from 31.7% (alcohol dependence) to 60.0% (conduct disorder) and specificities ranging from 76.0% (major depressive episode) to 97.1% (suicide attempt). There was little evidence that any informant characteristics enhanced accuracy of reporting. However, three reporting biases were found: the probability of reporting disorder in the proband was greater for informants with versus without a disorder, for female versus male informants, and for younger versus older informants. We conclude that the FHS is as valid as other family history instruments (e.g., the FH-RDC, FISC), and its brief administration time makes it a cost-effective method for collecting family history data. To avoid biasing results, researchers who aim to compare groups in terms of their family history should ensure that the informants reporting on these groups do not differ in terms of age, sex or personal history of disorder.
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Begg, D. J. , Gulliver, P. | 2008

A longitudinal examination of the relationship between adolescent problem behaviors and traffic crash involvement during young adulthood

Traffic Injury Prevention, 2008, 9(9), 508-14.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19058096

Our ref: RO579

Show abstract » Previous research examining the relationship between adolescent problem behaviors and young adult traffic outcomes (crashes, convictions, risky driving) has produced differing results. Possible reasons for this may be the heterogeneity of the crash outcomes (from minor fender-benders to fatal crashes), the gender of the driver, and/or the age of the driver. The aim of this research was to investigate the relationship between adolescent problem behaviors and young adult crashes to determine the extent to which the above factors influenced this relationship. This study was part of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (DMHDS), which is a longitudinal study of a cohort (n = 1,037) born in Dunedin, New Zealand, from April 1972 to March 1973. This cohort has been followed up regularly since birth, and the data for the present research were obtained at the 18-, 21-, and 26-year-old follow-up interviews. The problem behaviors examined were those identified by Jessor in the theory of problem behavior, namely, tobacco smoking, marijuana use, alcohol use, delinquent behavior, and unsafe sexual behavior. Data for these measures were obtained in personal interviews when the cohort was aged 18 years. The self-reported crash data were obtained at the age 21 and age 26 follow-up interviews. Driving exposure, academic qualifications, employment, being a parent, and marital status were included as potential confounders. The results show that involvement in adolescent problem behaviors predicted crash involvement at age 21 for the females but not the males and at age 26 for the males but not the females. Possible explanations for these differences by age and gender are discussed.
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Milne, B.J., Moffitt, T. E. , Crump, R., Poulton, R. , Rutter, M. , Sears, M.R., Taylor, A. , Caspi, A. | 2008

How should we construct psychiatric family history scores? A comparison of alternative approaches from the Dunedin Family Health History Study

Psychological Medicine, 2008, 38(38), 1793-802.
Our ref: RO569

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: There is increased interest in assessing the family history of psychiatric disorders for both genetic research and public health screening. It is unclear how best to combine family history reports into an overall score. We compare the predictive validity of different family history scores. Method: Probands from the Dunedin Study (n=981, 51% male) had their family history assessed for nine different conditions. We computed four family history scores for each disorder: (1) a simple dichotomous categorization of whether or not probands had any disordered first-degree relatives; (2) the observed number of disordered first-degree relatives; (3) the proportion of first-degree relatives who are disordered; and (4) Reed's score, which expressed the observed number of disordered first-degree relatives in terms of the number expected given the age and sex of each relative. We compared the strength of association between each family history score and probands' disorder outcome. RESULTS: Each score produced significant family history associations for all disorders. The scores that took account of the number of disordered relatives within families (i.e. the observed, proportion, and Reed's scores) produced significantly stronger associations than the dichotomous score for conduct disorder, alcohol dependence and smoking. Taking account of family size (i.e. using the proportion or Reed's score) produced stronger family history associations depending on the prevalence of the disorder among family members. CONCLUSIONS: Dichotomous family history scores can be improved upon by considering the number of disordered relatives in a family and the population prevalence of the disorder.
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Odgers, C.L., Caspi, A., Nagin, D.S., Piquero, A.R., Slutske, W., Milne, B.J., Dickson, N., Poulton, R., Moffitt, T. E. | 2008

Is it important to prevent early exposure to drugs and alcohol among adolescents?

Psychological Science, 2008, 19(19), 1037-1044.
Our ref: RO568

Show abstract » Exposure to alcohol and illicit drugs during early adolescence has been associated with poor outcomes in adulthood. However, many adolescents with exposure to these substances also have a history of conduct problems, which raises the question of whether early exposure to alcohol and drugs leads to poor outcomes only for those adolescents who are already at risk. In a 30-year prospective study, we tested whether there was evidence that early substance exposure can be a causal factor for adolescents' future lives. After propensity-score matching, early-exposed adolescents remained at an increased risk for a number of poor outcomes. Approximately 50% of adolescents exposed to alcohol and illicit drugs prior to age 15 had no conduct-problem history, yet were still at an increased risk for adult substance dependence, herpes infection, early pregnancy, and crime. Efforts to reduce or delay early substance exposure may prevent a wide range of adult health problems and should not be restricted to adolescents who are already at risk.
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Landhuis, C.E., Poulton, R., Welch, D., Hancox, R. J. | 2008

Childhood sleep-time and long-term risk for obesity: a 32-year prospective birth cohort study

Pediatrics, 2008, 122(122), 955-960.
DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-3521

Our ref: RO567

Show abstract » Context: Associations between short sleep duration and increased body mass index have been found in children and adults. However, it is unknown if short sleep-time during childhood has long-term consequences. We assessed the association between sleep-time in childhood and adult body mass index in a birth cohort. Methods: Study members were a general population birth cohort of 1037 participants (502 female) were born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between April 1972 and March 1973. Parental reports of bed and rising times collected at ages 5, 7, 9 and 11 years were used to estimate childhood sleep-time. Linear regression was used to analyse the association between childhood sleep-time and body mass index measured at age 32 years. Results: Lower childhood sleep-times were significantly associated with higher adult body mass indices (regression coefficient = -0.99, 95% confidence interval = -1.59 to -0.39, p = 0.001). This association remained after adjustment for adult sleep-time and the potential confounding effects of early childhood body mass index, childhood socioeconomic status, parental body mass indices, child and adult television viewing, adult physical activity and adult smoking (coefficient = -0.93, 95% CI = -1.54 to -0.31, p = 0.003. By logistic regression, more sleep-time during childhood was associated with a lower odds of obesity (OR = 0.73, 95%CI = 0.53 to 1.00, p = 0.051) at age 32 years. This association was significant after adjusting for multiple potential confounding factors (OR = 0.65, 95%CI = 0.43 to 0.97, p = 0.034). Conclusions: These findings suggest that sleep restriction in childhood increases the long-term risk for obesity. Ensuring that children get adequate sleep may be a useful strategy for stemming the current obesity epidemic.
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Van Os, J., Rutten, B.P.F., Poulton, R. | 2008

Gene-environment interactions: A review of epidemiological findings and future directions

Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2008, 34(34), 1066-82 .
doi:10.1093/schbul/sbn117

Our ref: RO566

Show abstract » Concern is building about high rates of schizophrenia in large cities, and among immigrants, cannabis users, and traumatized individuals, some of which likely reflects the causal influence of environmental exposures. This, in combination with very slow progress in the area of molecular genetics, has generated interest in more complicated models of schizophrenia etiology that explicitly posit gene-environment interactions (EU-GEI. European Network of Schizophrenia Networks for the Study of Gene Environment Interactions. Schizophrenia aetiology: do gene-environment interactions hold the key? [published online ahead of print April 25, 2008] Schizophr Res; S0920-9964(08) 00170-9). Although findings of epidemiological gene-environment interaction (G x E) studies are suggestive of widespread gene-environment interactions in the etiology of schizophrenia, numerous challenges remain. For example, attempts to identify gene-environment interactions cannot be equated with molecular genetic studies with a few putative environmental variables thrown in: G x E is a multidisciplinary exercise involving epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, neuroimaging, pharmacology, biostatistics, and genetics. Epidemiological G x E studies using indirect measures of genetic risk in genetically sensitive designs have the advantage that they are able to model the net, albeit nonspecific, genetic load. In studies using direct molecular measures of genetic variation, a hypothesis-driven approach postulating synergistic effects between genes and environment impacting on a final common pathway, such as sensitization of mesolimbic dopamine neurotransmission, while simplistic, may provide initial focus and protection against the numerous false-positive and false-negative results that these investigations engender. Experimental ecogenetic approaches with randomized assignment may help to overcome some of the limitations of observational studies and allow for the additional elucidation of underlying mechanisms using a combination of functional enviromics and functional genomics.
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Welch, D., Dawes, P. J. | 2008

Personality and perception of tinnitus

Ear and Hearing, 2008, 29(29), 684-692.
Our ref: RO565

Show abstract » OBJECTIVES:: Tinnitus has high prevalence and a wide range of etiologies and of impacts on sufferers. Our objective was to develop understanding of the role of personality in the perception of tinnitus in the general population. As a theoretical basis for this, we combined elements of a general model of signal detection with the ideas of ignition (development) and promotion (neural transmission) of tinnitus, and considered plausible roles for personality factors within this conceptual framework. DESIGN:: We interviewed a birth cohort of 970 people aged 32 yr sampled from the general population. On the basis of questioning, we divided them into three groups, those without tinnitus, those with occasional tinnitus (including those with transient tinnitus of very brief duration), and those who experienced tinnitus most of the time. We also established how annoying or distressing the tinnitus was, and assessed personality using the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. RESULTS:: Tinnitus was experienced rarely by 38.2% and half the time or more by 6.8% of those studied. Men and women did not differ in the amount of tinnitus reported, but women were more likely to find it annoying. People from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to report tinnitus. People with tinnitus were more socially withdrawn, reactive to stress, alienated, and less Self-Controlled. People who were more annoyed by tinnitus were more socially withdrawn, and men were more stress reactive and alienated. CONCLUSIONS:: Our interpretation of the findings is that personality influences the persistence of tinnitus by influencing the tendency to be aware of it. Consideration of personality factors may improve the ability to tailor tinnitus therapies, and the concept of awareness may benefit treatment outcomes by showing tinnitus sufferers a means of internalizing the locus of control over their symptoms.
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Owen, C. G. , Whincup, P. H. , Kaye, S. J. , Martin, R. M. , Davey Smith, G. , Cook, D. G. , Bergstrom, E. , Black, S. , Wadsworth, M. E. , Fall, C. H. , Freudenheim, J. L. , Nie, J. , Huxley, R. R. , Kolacek, S. , Leeson, C. P. , Pearce, M. S. , Raitakari | 2008

Does initial breastfeeding lead to lower blood cholesterol in adult life? A quantitative review of the evidence

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008, 88(88), 305-14.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18689365

Our ref: RO564

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Earlier studies have suggested that infant feeding may program long-term changes in cholesterol metabolism. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine whether breastfeeding is associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations in adulthood. DESIGN: The study consisted of a systematic review of published observational studies relating initial infant feeding status to blood cholesterol concentrations in adulthood (ie, aged >16 y). Data were available from 17 studies (17 498 subjects; 12 890 breastfed, 4608 formula-fed). Mean differences in total cholesterol concentrations (breastfed minus formula-fed) were pooled by using fixed-effect models. Effects of adjustment (for age at outcome, socioeconomic position, body mass index, and smoking status) and exclusion (of nonexclusive breast feeders) were examined. RESULTS: Mean total blood cholesterol was lower (P = 0.037) among those ever breastfed than among those fed formula milk (mean difference: -0.04 mmol/L; 95% CI: -0.08, 0.00 mmol/L). The difference in cholesterol between infant feeding groups was larger (P = 0.005) and more consistent in 7 studies that analyzed exclusive feeding patterns (-0.15 mmol/L; -0.23, -0.06 mmol/L) than in 10 studies that analyzed nonexclusive feeding patterns (-0.01 mmol/L; -0.06, 0.03 mmol/L). Adjustment for potential confounders including socioeconomic position, body mass index, and smoking status in adult life had minimal effect on these estimates. CONCLUSIONS: Initial breastfeeding (particularly when exclusive) may be associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations in later life. Moves to reduce the cholesterol content of formula feeds below those of breast milk should be treated with caution.
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Robertson, S.P., Poulton, R. | 2008

Longitudinal studies to detect gene x environment interactions in common disease - Bang for your buck? A commentary on Chaufan's How much can a large population study on genes, environments, their interactions and common diseases contribute to the health of the American people? (65:8, 1730-1741(2007))

Social Science and Medicine, 2008, 67(67), 666-672.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18508172

Our ref: RO562

Show abstract » Invited response to Chaufan, Social Science & Medicine, 2007, 65(8): 1730-1741
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Lawrence, H.P., Thomson, W. M. , Broadbent, J. M. , Poulton, R. | 2008

Oral-health-related quality of life in a cohort of 32-year-olds

Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 2008, 36(36), 305-316.
doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2007.99395.x

Our ref: RO561

Show abstract » Objectives: To describe oral-health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) among New Zealand adults and assess the relationship between clinical measures of oral health status and a well-established OHRQoL measure, controlling for sex, SES and use of dental services. Methods: A birth cohort of 924 dentate adults (participants in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study) were systematically examined for dental caries, tooth loss, and periodontal attachment loss (CAL) at age 32 years. OHRQoL was measured using the 14-item Oral Health Impact Profile questionnaire (OHIP-14). The questionnaire also collected data on each study member's occupation, self-rated oral health and reasons for seeing a dental care provider. SES was determined from each individual's occupation at age 32 years. Results: The mean total OHIP-14 score was 8.0 (SD 8.1); 23.4% of the cohort reported one or more OHIP problems 'fairly often' or 'very often'. When the prevalence of impacts 'fairly/very often' was modeled using Logistic regression, having untreated caries, 2 or more sites with CAL of 4+ mm and 1 or more teeth missing by age 32 remained significantly associated with OHRQoL, after adjusting for sex and 'episodic' dental care. Multivariate analysis using Poisson regression determined that being in the low SES group also was associated with the mean number of impacts (extent) and the rated severity of impacts. Conclusions: OHIP-14 scores were significantly associated with clinical oral health status indicators, independently of sex and socio-economic inequalities in oral health. The prevalence of impacts (23.4%) in the cohort was significantly greater than age- and sex-standardised estimates from Australia (18.2%) and the UK (15.9%).
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Landhuis, C.E., Poulton, R., Welch, D., Hancox, R. J. | 2008

Programming obesity and poor fitness: the long-term impact of childhood television viewing. Short Communication.

Obesity, 2008, 16(16), 1457-1459.
Our ref: RO560

Show abstract » Objective: To assess whether the long-term effects of childhood television viewing on BMI and cardiorespiratory fitness are mediated by adult viewing. Methods and Procedures: This prospective study included an unselected birth cohort of 1,037 participants ( 535 men) born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972/1973. Hours of television viewing on weekdays were reported at ages 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 32 years. BMI and cardiorespiratory fitness were measured at age 32 years. Results: Both childhood and adult television viewing times were significantly associated with higher BMI and lower cardiorespiratory fitness at age 32 years. Childhood television viewing was a better predictor of adult BMI and fitness than adult viewing and remained a significant predictor of these outcomes after adjusting for adult viewing time. After adjusting for adult viewing, the odds ( 95% confidence interval) of adult obesity increased by a factor of 1.25 ( 1.01, 1.53) and poor fitness increased by a factor of 1.40 ( 1.16, 1.70) for each hour of mean weekday television viewing during childhood. Discussion: The association between childhood television viewing and obesity and poor fitness in adulthood is not mediated by adult viewing. The detrimental health effects of watching too much television during childhood persist into adulthood. Attempts to reduce adult obesity and poor fitness by modifying television viewing habits need to begin in childhood.
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Koenen, K., Moffitt, T. E. , Caspi, A., Gregory, A. M. , Harrington, H. L., Poulton, R. | 2008

The developmental mental-disorder histories of adults with posttraumatic stress disorder: a prospective longitudinal birth cohort study

Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2008, 117(117), 460-466.
Our ref: RO559

Show abstract » Clinical and epidemiologic studies have established that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is highly comorbid with other mental disorders. However, such studies have largely relied on adults' retrospective reports to ascertain comorbidity. The authors examined the developmental mental health histories of adults with PTSD using data on mental disorders assessed across the first 3 decades of life among members of the longitudinal Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study; 100% of those diagnosed with past-year PTSD and 93.5% of those with lifetime PTSD at age 26 had met criteria for another mental disorder between ages 11 and 21. Most other mental disorders had first onsets by age 15. Of new cases of PTSD arising between ages 26 and 32, 96% had a prior mental disorder and 77% had been diagnosed by age 15. These data suggest PTSD almost always develops in the context of other mental disorders. Research on the etiology of PTSD may benefit from taking lifetime developmental patterns of comorbidity into consideration. Juvenile mental-disorder histories may help indicate which individuals are most likely to develop PTSD in populations at high risk of trauma exposure.
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Danese, A. , Moffitt, T. E. , Pariante, C.M., Poulton, R., Caspi, A. | 2008

Elevated inflammation levels in depressed adults with a history of childhood maltreatment

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2008, 65(65), 409-15.
Our ref: RO558

Show abstract » CONTEXT: The association between depression and inflammation is inconsistent across research samples. OBJECTIVE: To test whether a history of childhood maltreatment could identify a subgroup of depressed individuals with elevated inflammation levels, thus helping to explain previous inconsistencies. DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal cohort study. SETTING: New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: A representative birth cohort of 1000 individuals was followed up to age 32 years as part of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. Study members were assessed for history of childhood maltreatment and current depression. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Inflammation was assessed using a clinically relevant categorical measure of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (>3 mg/L) and a dimensional inflammation factor indexing the shared variance of continuous measures of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, and white blood cells. RESULTS: Although depression was associated with high levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (relative risk,1.45; 95% confidence interval,1.06-1.99), this association was significantly attenuated and no longer significant when the effect of childhood maltreatment was taken into account. Individuals with current depression and a history of childhood maltreatment were more likely to have high levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein compared with control subjects (n = 27; relative risk, 2.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-3.47). In contrast, individuals with current depression only had a nonsignificant elevation in risk (n = 109; relative risk, 1.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-2.01). Results were generalizable to the inflammation factor. The elevated inflammation levels in individuals who were both depressed and maltreated were not explained by correlated risk factors such as depression recurrence, low socioeconomic status in childhood or adulthood, poor health, or smoking. CONCLUSIONS: A history of childhood maltreatment contributes to the co-occurrence of depression and inflammation. Information about experiences of childhood maltreatment may help to identify depressed individuals with elevated inflammation levels and, thus, at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Waldie, K.E., McGee, R. , Reeder, A. , Poulton, R. | 2008

Association between frequent headaches, persistent smoking and attempts to quit.

Headache, 2008, 48(48), 545-52.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18218010

Our ref: RO557

Show abstract » Background.-Recent studies have found a strong relationship between tobacco smoking and headache pain. It remains unclear whether smoking behavior leads to headache or visa versa, mainly due to the cross-sectional nature of the majority of this research. Objective.-To help clarify the direction of the relation between smoking and frequent headaches in a representative cohort study. Design and Methods.-Members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (N = 980) were asked about their cigarette smoking and headache history at ages 11 and 13 (childhood), age 15 (mid-adolescence), and age 26 (adulthood). Both cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between smoking and headache status were examined using logistic regression. Results.-During mid-adolescence, the likelihood of frequent headaches doubled for smokers relative to nonsmokers (OR: 2.16, 95% CI: 1.39-3.35). Smoking did not increase the risk of developing headaches in adulthood, however. In contrast, individuals who suffered from frequent headaches during mid-adolescence were 2 times more likely to smoke in adulthood than those without headache (OR: 2.20, 95% CI: 1.3-3.7), after controlling for sex and family socioeconomic status. Attempts to quit smoking were significantly more difficult for migraine sufferers with a history of headache than for those with tension-type headache. Conclusions.-Frequent headaches during mid-adolescence appear to increase the risk of daily smoking in adolescence and adulthood. These individuals also have a more difficult time quitting than their headache-free peers.
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Odgers, C.L., Caspi, A., Poulton, R., Harrington, H. L., Thomson, W.M., Broadbent, J. M. , Hancox, R. J. , Dickson, N., Paul, C., Moffitt, T. E. | 2008

Female and male antisocial trajectories: From childhood origins to adult outcomes

Development and Psychopathology, 2008, 20(20), 673-716.
Our ref: RO556

Show abstract » This article reports on the childhood origins and adult outcomes of female versus male antisocial behavior trajectories in the Dunedin longitudinal study. Four antisocial behavior trajectory groups were identified among females and males using general growth mixture modeling and included life-course persistent (LCP), adolescent-onset, childhood-limited, and low trajectory groups. During childhood, both LCP females and males were characterized by social, familial and neurodevelopmental risk factors, whereas those on the adolescent-onset pathway were not. At age 32, women and men on the LCP pathway were engaging in serious violence and experiencing significant mental health, physical health, and economic problems. Females and males on the adolescent-onset pathway were also experiencing difficulties at age 32, although to a lesser extent. Although more males than females followed the LCP trajectory, findings support similarities across gender with respect to developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior and their associated childhood origins and adult consequences. Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed.
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Poulton, R., Andrews, G., Millichamp, J. | 2008

Gene-environment interaction and the anxiety disorders. Special Issue - Editorial

European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 2008, 258(258), 65-68.
Our ref: RO555

Show abstract » In this Special Issue a number of leading anxiety researchers have critically reviewed attempts to discover replicable gene–environment interactions (G ·E) for the anxiety disorders. They present cogent summaries of what is and what is not known about G · E for each of the anxiety disorders. They have also identified major stumbling blocks to progress, and offered practical suggestions for overcoming these challenges. Some illustrate strategies for better integrating epidemiological and experimental research to advance understanding. Together, they provide a splendid 'stocktake' of where the field currently is, as well as tantalising us with glimpses of what might be just over the horizon. By way of introduction to this series, we highlight several key issues confronting research seeking to model the complexity of nature–nurture interplay.
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Dickson, N., van Roode, T., Herbison, G. P. , Paul, C. | 2008

Circumcision and risk of sexually transmitted infections in a birth cohort

Journal of Pediatrics, 2008, 152(152), 383-387.
Our ref: RO554

Show abstract » Objective: To determine the impact of early childhood circumcision on sexually transmitted infection (STI) acquisition to age 32 years. Study design: The circumcision status of a cohort of children born in 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand was sought at age 3 years. Information about STIs was obtained at ages 21, 26, and 32 years. The incidence rates of STI acquisition were calculated, taking into account timing of first sex, and comparisons were made between the circumcised men and uncircumcised men. Adjustments were made for potential socioeconomic and sexual behavior confounding factors where appropriate. Results: Of the 499 men studied, 201 (40.3%) had been circumcised by age 3 years. The circumcised and uncircumcised groups differed little in socioeconomic characteristics and sexual behavior. Overall, up to age 32 years, the incidence rates for all STIs were not statistically significantly different-23.4 and 24.4 per 1000 person-years for the uncircumcised and circumcised men, respectively. This was not affected by adjusting for any of the socioeconomic or sexual behavior characteristics. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with recent population-based cross-sectional studies in developed countries, which found that early childhood circumcision does not markedly reduce the risk of the common STIs in the general population in such countries.
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Broadbent, J. M. , Thomson, W. M. , Poulton, R. | 2008

Trajectory patterns of dental caries experience to the fourth decade of life

Journal of Dental Research, 2008, 87(87), 69-72.
Our ref: RO553

Show abstract » Dental caries is a chronic, cumulative disease, but no studies have investigated longitudinal patterns of caries experience. The objective of this study was to identify and describe developmental trajectories of caries experience in the permanent dentition to age 32. Longitudinal caries data for 955 participants in a longstanding birth cohort study were analyzed by trajectory analysis. Three caries experience trajectories were identified by the SAS macro PROC TRAJ; these were categorized as high (approximately 15%), medium (approximately 43%), and low (approximately 42%) DMFS (Decayed, Missing, and Filled Surfaces). All were relatively linear, although the higher trajectories were more S-shaped. This effect disappeared following adjustment for the number of unaffected surfaces remaining at each age, suggesting that, among individuals following a similar caries trajectory, caries rate is relatively constant across time.
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Caspi, A., Langley, K., Milne, B.J., Moffitt, T. E. , O'Donovan, M., Owen, M.J., Polo-Tomas, M. , Poulton, R., Rutter, M. , Taylor, A. , Williams, B. S., Thapar, A. | 2008

A replicated molecular genetic basis for subtyping antisocial behavior in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2008, 65(65), 203-210.
http://www.archgenpsychiatry.com

Our ref: RO552

Show abstract » CONTEXT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder that in some cases is accompanied by antisocial behavior. OBJECTIVE: To test if variations in the catechol O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) would prove useful in identifying the subset of children with ADHD who exhibit antisocial behavior. DESIGN: Three independent samples composed of 1 clinical sample of ADHD cases and 2 birth cohort studies. PARTICIPANTS: Participants in the clinical sample were drawn from child psychiatry and child health clinics in England and Wales. The 2 birth cohort studies included 1 sample of 2232 British children born in 1994-1995 and a second sample of 1037 New Zealander children born in 1972-1973. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Diagnosis of ADHD and measures of antisocial behavior. RESULTS: We present replicated evidence that the COMT valine/methionine polymorphism at codon 158 (COMT Val158Met) was associated with phenotypic variation among children with ADHD. Across the 3 samples, valine/valine homozygotes had more symptoms of conduct disorder, were more aggressive, and were more likely to be convicted of criminal offenses compared with methionine carriers. CONCLUSIONS: The findings confirm the presence of genetic heterogeneity in ADHD and illustrate how genetic information may provide biological evidence pointing to clinical subtypes.
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Thomson, W. M. , Poulton, R., Broadbent, J. M. , Moffitt, T. E. , Caspi, A., Beck, J.D., Welch, D., Hancox, R. J. | 2008

Cannabis smoking and periodontal disease among young adults

JAMA, 2008, 299(299), 525-531.
Our ref: RO551

Show abstract » Context: Tobacco smoking is a recognized behavioral risk factor for periodontal disease (through its systemic effects), and cannabis smoking may contribute in a similar way. Objective: To determine whether cannabis smoking is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Design and Setting: Prospective cohort study of the general population, with cannabis use determined at ages 18, 21, 26 and 32 years and dental examinations conducted at ages 26 and 32 years. The most recent data collection (at age 32 years) was completed in June 2005. Participants: A complete birth cohort born in 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand, and assessed periodically (with a 96% follow-up rate of the 1015 participants who survived to age 32 years). Compete data for this analysis were available from 903 participants (comprising 89.0% of the surviving birth cohort). Main Outcome Measure: Periodontal disease status at age 32 years (and changes from ages 26 to 32 years) determined from periodontal combined attachment loss (CAL) measured at 3 sites per tooth. Results: Three cannabis exposure groups were determined: no exposure (293individuals, or 32 3%), some exposure (428; 47.4%), and high exposure (182; 20.2%). At age 32 years, 265 participants (29.3%) had 1 or more sites with 4 mm or greater CAL, and 111 participants (12.3%) had 1 or more sites with 5 mm or greater CAL. Incident attachment loss between the ages of 26 and 32 years in the none, some, and high cannabis exposure groups was 6 5%, 112%, and 23.6%, respectively. After controlling for tobacco smoking (measured in pack-years), sex, irregular use of dental services, and dental plaque, the relative risk estimates for the highest cannabis exposure group were as follows: 1.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.2) for having 1 or more sites with 4 mm or greater CAL; 3.1 (95% CI, 1.5-6.4) for having 1 or more sites with 5 mm or greater CAL; and2.2 (95% CI, 1.2-3.9) for having incident attachment loss (in comparison with those who had never smoked cannabis). Tobacco smoking was strongly associated with periodontal disease experience, but there was no interaction between cannabis use and tobacco smoking in predicting the condition's occurrence. Conclusion: Cannabis smoking may be a risk factor for periodontal disease that is independent of the use of tobacco.
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Hancox, R. J. , Welch, D., Poulton, R., Taylor, A. , McLachlan, C. R. , Sears, M.R. | 2008

Cigarette smoking and allergic sensitization: a 32-year population-based cohort study

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2008, 121(121), 38-42.e3.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18061657

Our ref: RO550

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Cigarette smoke has immunosuppressant effects, but its effect on allergic sensitization is unclear. OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations between parental and personal smoking and skin prick tests (SPTs) for atopy in a population-based birth cohort of 1037 participants followed to adulthood. METHODS: Parental history of atopic disease, parental smoking, and personal smoking were obtained at multiple assessments between birth and age 32 years. Atopy was assessed by SPTs for 11 common inhaled allergens at ages 13 and 32 years. RESULTS: Children of atopic parents were less likely to have positive SPTs at age 13 years if either parent smoked (odds ratio, 0.55; P = .009). This association was not significant after adjusting for breast-feeding history, number of siblings, and childhood socioeconomic status. Subjects with atopic parents were also less likely to develop positive results to SPTs between ages 13 and 32 years if they smoked themselves (odds ratio, 0.18; P < .001). This reduction in risk remained significant after adjusting for multiple potential confounding factors. Neither parental nor personal smoking was significantly associated with allergic sensitization among subjects whose parents did not have a history of atopic disease. Few of those with positive SPT results at age 13 years had negative tests at age 32 years, and there was no evidence that this was influenced by smoking. CONCLUSION: Personal and parental smoking is associated with a reduced risk of allergic sensitization in people with a family history of atopy.
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Beautrais, A.L., Fergusson, D.M., Cogan, C., Doughty, C., Ellis, P.M., Hatcher, S., Horwood, L.J., Merry, S.N., Mulder, R., Poulton, R. , Surgenor, L. | 2007

Effective strategies for suicide prevention in New Zealand: A review of the evidence

New Zealand Medical Journal, 2007, 120(120), 1-13.
http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/120-1251/2459/

Our ref: NZ92

Show abstract » A national suicide prevention strategy for New Zealand was developed in 2006. There is relatively little strong evidence for the efficacy of many existing suicide prevention initiatives, and this area has frequently been captured by strong claims about the effectiveness of programmes that have not been adequately evaluated. This paper provides a conceptual framework for classifying suicide prevention initiatives, reviews evidence for their effectiveness, and makes recommendations for initiatives to be undertaken as part of suicide prevention activities in New Zealand. The available evidence thus far suggests that the most promising interventions likely to be effective in reducing suicidal behaviours are medical practitioner and gatekeeper education, and restriction of access to lethal means of suicide. This evidence also suggests a clear agenda for research, which includes evaluating interventions and prevention programmes, developing model and demonstration projects, identifying meaningful outcome measures, and refining and identifying the critical elements of effective programmes.
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Skegg, K. M., Nada-Raja, S. , Paul, C. , Skegg, D. C. | 2007

Body piercing, personality, and sexual behavior

Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 2007, 36(36), 47-54.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17136589

Our ref: RO588

Show abstract » The associations of body piercing with other social characteristics, personality, and sexual behavior were investigated in a population-based sample of young adults, in light of the theory that body piercing has meaning in terms of a corporeal expression of the self. At age 26 years, 966 (95%) of 1019 members of the birth-cohort of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study were asked about body piercing (at interview) and sexual behavior (questions presented by computer). Assessment of personality traits was conducted at ages 18 or 21 years. In total, 183 participants (9% of the men and 29% of the women) had piercings at a site other than the earlobes. People who lived outside New Zealand or who were of Maori descent were more likely to be pierced, but unemployment and low occupational status were not significantly related to piercing. Women who were pierced, compared with those without piercings, were more likely to have personality traits of low constraint or high negative emotionality. Women with piercings were also more likely to report having had, during the previous year, five or more heterosexual partners (odds ratio, 5.8, 95% CI: 2.3-14.6) or any same-sex partner involving genital contact (odds ratio, 10.3, CI: 2.9-37.2). The associations with sexual behavior in men were weaker and not statistically significant. In this population, body piercing in women was associated with sexual behavior. Having multiple heterosexual partners or any same-sex partner was very rare among women without piercings. The theory of meaning for body piercing was generally supported, offering the possibility of a richer understanding of this phenomenon in the general population.
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Head, R. F. , Tu, Y. K. , Gilthorpe, M. S. , Mishra, G. D. , Williams, S. M., Ellison, G. T. | 2007

What evidence is there that adjustment for adult height influences the relationship between birth weight and blood pressure?

Annals of Human Biology, 2007, 34(34), 252-64.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17558595

Our ref: RO563

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: The inverse association between birth weight and blood pressure may partly be the result of inappropriate adjustment for adult body size, but it remains unclear whether adjustment for adult height elicits this effect. AIM: The study investigated the impact of adjustment for adult height on the relationship between birth weight and blood pressure. METHODS: A systematic search of Medline from 1996 to 2006 was conducted using the terms 'birth weight', 'blood pressure' and 'hypertension', and any papers containing linear regression analyses of blood pressure on birth weight for populations with an average age of 25+ were eligible for inclusion in comparative meta-analyses. RESULTS: None of the 30 studies identified had published regression coefficients for blood pressure on birth weight before and after adjustment for adult height, and only two studies were found to adjust for adult height at all. Data from these studies were obtained, and it was found that adjustment for height made the association between birth weight and systolic blood pressure (SBP) more negative in one study but less negative in the other. When compared with meta-analyses of comparable models, it was found that both studies were substantially different from the combined estimate of the relationship between birth weight and SBP. CONCLUSIONS: Both the differences between the two selected studies and their differences from the combined estimates obtained by meta-analysis are likely to be due to differences in the age of the participants. The relationship between birth weight and SBP tended to become more strongly inverse in studies with older participants. Additionally, the correlations between height and SBP were found to change from positive to negative with increasing age, which explained the differential impact of adjustment for height in the two selected studies. It therefore appears that adjustment for height may have little effect for older participants, but more so for younger participants.
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Taylor, D. R. , Mandhane, P. J., Greene, J. M. , Hancox, R. J. , Filsell, S. , McLachlan, C. R. , Williamson, A. J. , Cowan, J. O. , Smith, A. D. , Sears, M. R. | 2007

Factors affecting exhaled nitric oxide measurements: the effect of sex

Respiratory Research, 2007, 8(8), 82.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18005450

Our ref: RO549

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Exhaled nitric oxide (F(E)NO) measurements are used as a surrogate marker for eosinophilic airway inflammation. However, many constitutional and environmental factors affect F(E)NO, making it difficult to devise reference values. Our aim was to evaluate the relative importance of factors affecting F(E)NO in a well characterised adult population. METHODS: Data were obtained from 895 members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study at age 32. The effects of sex, height, weight, lung function indices, smoking, atopy, asthma and rhinitis on F(E)NO were explored by unadjusted and adjusted linear regression analyses. RESULTS: The effect of sex on F(E)NO was both statistically and clinically significant, with F(E)NO levels approximately 25% less in females. Overall, current smoking reduced F(E)NO up to 50%, but this effect occurred predominantly in those who smoked on the day of the F(E)NO measurement. Atopy increased F(E)NO by 60%. The sex-related differences in F(E)NO remained significant (p < 0.001) after controlling for all other significant factors affecting F(E)NO. CONCLUSION: Even after adjustment, F(E)NO values are significantly different in males and females. The derivation of reference values and the interpretation of FENO in the clinical setting should be stratified by sex. Other common factors such as current smoking and atopy also require to be taken into account.
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Gulliver, P. , Begg, D.J. | 2007

Personality factors as predictors of persistent risky driving behaviour and crash involvement among young adults

Injury Prevention, 2007, 13(13), 376-81.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18056312

Our ref: RO548

Show abstract » OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between personality factors assessed during adolescence and persistent risky driving behavior and traffic crash involvement among young adults. DESIGN: Data for this investigation were drawn from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a longitudinal study of a cohort born in Dunedin, New Zealand. SUBJECTS: The study population was 1037 young people born between 1 April 1972 and 31 March 1973. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measures were persistent risky driving behaviors and crash involvement, collected in a face-to-face road-safety interview at ages 21 and 26. RESULTS: The only outcomes for which there were sufficient numbers of females were a driver involved in any crash and a driver involved in an injury crash. Univariate logistic regression revealed that there were no significant predictors for either of these outcomes. For the males, at the univariate level, aggression, traditionalism, and alienation were the personality scales most frequently associated with risky driving behavior and crash risk. After adjusting for driving exposure, only high levels of aggression predicted being a driver involved in a crash, and alienation predicted being a driver involved in an injury crash. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that road-safety interventions seeking to deter young adult males from persistent risky driving behavior need to be directed at those who do not endorse traditional views, are aggressive, and feel alienated from the rest of society.
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Richards, R., Reeder, A.I., Poulton, R., Williams, S. M. | 2007

Tracking sport participation from childhood to early adulthood

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 2007, 78(78), 413-419.
Our ref: RO547

Show abstract » This study examined the strength of tracking sport participation from childhood to early adulthood among the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study cohort. Participation in sport, dance, or gymnastics as part of a club or group (outside of school) was assessed at ages 7, 9, 15, 18, and 21 years. In addition to the traditionally used correlation coefficients, summary statistics (intraclass correlations; ICC) from random effect models and stability coefficients from generalized estimating equations (GEE) were calculated using all the longitudinal data and controlling for the influence of covariates on tracking strength. Correlation coefficients revealed statistically significant tracking of club sport participation (7-21 years) at low levels (r = .07-0.28). The ICC summary statistic (0.23) was consistent with this, while the GEE suggested moderate tracking (0.59). The results of this study suggest that encouraging sport participation during childhood and adolescence may result in a modest increase in the likelihood of participation later in life. However, the substantial movement into and out of sport participation observed here and in other studies cautions against relying solely on sport promotion among youth as a strategy to promote lifelong participation.
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Waldie, K.E., Welch, D. | 2007

Cognitive function in tension-type headache

Current Pain and Headache Reports, 2007, 11(11), 454-460.
Our ref: RO546

Show abstract » The association between tension-type headache and cognitive ability was assessed among 971 members of a longitudinal birth cohort study. Primary headache status was determined at age 32 years according to 2004 International Headache Society criteria, frequent childhood headaches were identified from parent report from ages 7 to 13 years, and data relating to cognitive and academic performance from ages 3 to 32 years were analyzed. Adult study members with tension-type headache did not score worse on any of the cognitive measures relative to headache-free controls or headache-free tinnitus sufferers. Instead, a consistent relation was found between childhood headache (regardless of headache diagnosis in adulthood) and lower scores on most cognitive measures from age 3 years through adolescence (verbal and performance IQ, receptive language, and reading scores). The data indicate that cognitive performance deficits in childhood headache sufferers can probably be attributed to factors stemming from utero or early childhood.
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McAnally, H.M., Poulton, R., Hancox, R. J. , Prescott, J., Welch, D. | 2007

Psychosocial correlates of 6-n-Propylthiouracil (PROP) ratings in a birth cohort

Appetite, 2007, 49(49), 700-703.
Our ref: RO545

Show abstract » This study investigated the relation between ratings of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) and two psychosocial constructs, socioeconomic status and IQ, which are related to health outcomes. A 3.2mM solution of PROP was rated by 922 32-year-old members of a birth cohort (450 women) relative to the strongest imaginable sensation of any kind using the generalised Labelled Magnitude Scale. Women had higher PROP ratings than men. Following normalisation of PROP ratings, multiple linear regression showed that higher ratings were independently associated with lower childhood socioeconomic status, lower childhood IQ scores and ratings of an imagined stimulus made on the same scale (r(2)=0.12). Results suggest that psychosocial variables, sex and scale use, in addition to established genetic determinants, may help explain variability in ratings of supra-threshold concentrations of PROP.
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Caspi, A., Williams, B. S., Kim-Cohen, J. , Craig, I. , Milne, B.J., Poulton, R., Schalkwyk, L.C., Taylor, A. , Werts, H., Moffitt, T. E. | 2007

Moderation of breastfeeding effects on cognitive development by genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism

PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA), 2007, 104(104), 18860-65.
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0704292104

Our ref: RO544

Show abstract » Children's intellectual development is influenced by both genetic inheritance and environmental experiences. Breastfeeding is one of the earliest such postnatal experiences. Breastfed children attain higher IQ scores than children not fed breast milk, presumably because of the fatty acids uniquely available in breast milk. Here we show that the association between breastfeeding and IQ is moderated by a genetic variant in FADS2, a gene involved in the genetic control of fatty acid pathways. We confirmed this gene–environment interaction in two birth cohorts, and we ruled out alternative explanations of the finding involving gene–exposure correlation, intrauterine growth, social class, and maternal cognitive ability, as well as maternal genotype effects on breastfeeding and breast milk. The finding shows that environmental exposures can be used to uncover novel candidate genes in complex phenotypes. It also shows that genes may work via the environment to shape the IQ, helping to close the nature versus nurture debate.
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Sutherland, T.J.T., Taylor, D.R. , Sears, M.R., Cowan, J.O., McLachlan, C. R. , Filsell, S., Williamson, A., Greene, J.M., Poulton, R., Hancox, R. J. | 2007

Association between exhaled nitric oxide and systemic inflammatory markers

Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 2007, 99(99), 534-39.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17941280

Our ref: RO543

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways, and there is some evidence to suggest that it is associated with a systemic inflammatory response, as measured by C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen. Exhaled nitric oxide is a noninvasive measure of asthmatic airway inflammation. OBJECTIVE: To determine if there is an association between exhaled nitric oxide and these systemic inflammatory markers. METHODS: The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study is a birth cohort of approximately 1,000 individuals born between April 1, 1972, and March 31, 1973. At the age of 32 years, study members were assessed for diagnosis of asthma, atopy by skin prick testing, smoking, body mass index, exhaled nitric oxide, high-sensitivity serum CRP, and plasma fibrinogen level. RESULTS: There was no significant association between exhaled nitric oxide and CRP (P = .99). There was a trend to an inverse association between exhaled nitric oxide and fibrinogen (P = .049), but this was not significant after adjusting for smoking and use of corticosteroids or after further adjustment for body mass index and atopy (P = .71). CONCLUSION: In this population-based sample of young adults, there was no association between airway inflammation, as measured by exhaled nitric oxide, and systemic inflammation, as measured by either CRP or fibrinogen.
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Welch, D., Dawes, P. J. | 2007

Childhood hearing is associated with growth rates in infancy and adolescence

Pediatric Research, 2007, 62(62), 495-498.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17667854

Our ref: RO542

Show abstract » It is known that shorter stature is associated with sensorineural hearing loss; and that cochlear development is associated with activity of IGF 1, as are many important aspects of neurodevelopment. We hypothesized that this relation might be extrapolated to a normally hearing group, and that the strongest relation between hearing level and growth rate would be in late puberty, when serum IGF-1 levels are highest. We examined the statistical relation between childhood hearing threshold and rate of growth in height at different times during the life course up to age 32. We found mixed support for the hypothesis. The strongest relations were observed in late puberty, at the ages which previous research shows are associated with the highest serum concentrations of IGF-1 in males and females, but also in infancy and early childhood. The association between hearing and height is present in a normally hearing, general population sample, and is associated with growth in late adolescence. Our findings support the idea that childhood hearing threshold may be predictive of IGF-1 mediated developmental characteristics.
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Melchior, M. , Moffitt, T. E. , Milne, B.J., Poulton, R., Caspi, A. | 2007

Why do children from socioeconomically disadvantaged families suffer from poor health when they reach adulthood? A lifecourse study

American Journal of Epidemiology, 2007, 166(166), 966-974.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwm155

Our ref: RO541

Show abstract » The authors investigated what risk factors contribute to an excess risk of poor adult health among children who experience socioeconomic disadvantage. Data came from 1,037 children born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1972-1973, who were followed from birth to age 32 years (2004-2005). Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) was measured at multiple points between birth and age 15 years. Risk factors evaluated included a familial liability to poor health, childhood/adolescent health characteristics, low childhood intelligence quotient (IQ), exposure to childhood maltreatment, and adult SES. Adult health outcomes evaluated at age 32 years were major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, tobacco dependence, alcohol or drug dependence, and clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors. Results showed that low childhood SES was associated with an increased risk of substance dependence and poor physical health in adulthood (for tobacco dependence, sex-adjusted relative risk (RR) = 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.41, 3.65; for alcohol or drug dependence, RR = 2.11, 95% CI: 1.16, 3.84; for cardiovascular risk factor status, RR = 2.55, 95% CI: 1.46, 4.46). Together, the risk factors studied here accounted for 55-67% of poor health outcomes among adults exposed to low SES as children. No single risk factor emerged as the prime explanation, suggesting that the processes mediating the link between childhood low SES and adult poor health are multifactorial.
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Odgers, C.L., Milne, B.J., Caspi, A., Crump, R., Poulton, R., Moffitt, T. E. | 2007

Predicting prognosis for the conduct-problem boy: Can family history help?

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2007, 46(46), 1240-1249.
Our ref: RO540

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: Many children with conduct disorder develop life-course persistent antisocial behavior; however, other children exhibit childhood-limited or adolescence-limited conduct disorder symptoms and escape poor adult outcomes. Prospective prediction of long-term prognosis in pediatric and adolescent clinical settings is difficult. Improved prognosis prediction would support wise allocation of limited treatment resources. The purpose of this article is to evaluate whether family history of psychiatric disorder can statically predict long-term prognosis among conduct-problem children. METHOD: Participants were male members of the Dunedin Study, a birth cohort of 1,037 children (52% male). Conduct-problem subtypes were defined using prospective assessments between ages 7 and 26 years. Family history interviews assessed mental disorders for three generations: the participants' grandparents, parents, and siblings. RESULTS: Family history of externalizing disorders distinguished life-course persistent antisocial males from other conduct-problem children and added significant incremental validity beyond family and child risk factors. A simple three-item family history screen of maternal-reported alcohol abuse was associated with life-course persistent prognosis in our research setting and should be evaluated in clinical practice. CONCLUSIONS: Family history of externalizing disorders distinguished between life-course persistent versus childhood-limited and adolescent-onset conduct problems. Brief family history questions may assist clinicians in pediatric settings to refine the diagnosis of conduct disorder and identify children who most need treatment in pediatric settings to refine the diagnosis of CD and identify children who need treatment most.
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Ramrakha, S., Paul, C., Dickson, N., Bell, M.L.., Moffitt, T. E. , Caspi, A. | 2007

Childhood behaviour problems linked to sexual risk taking in young adulthood: a birth cohort study

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2007, 46(46), 1272-1279.
Our ref: RO539

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE::To study whether behavioral and emotional problems during childhood predicted early sexual debut, risky sex at age 21 years, and sexually transmitted infections up to age 21 years. Some possible mediational pathways were also explored. METHOD:: Participants were enrolled in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (n = 1,037), a prospective, longitudinal study of a New Zealand birth cohort born in 1972-1973. Data obtained at ages 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 21 years were used. Adjustment was made for gender, socioeconomic status, parenting factors, and residence changes. RESULTS:: High levels of antisocial behavior between age 5 and 11 years were associated with increased odds of early sexual debut (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.17, 95% confidence [CI] 1.34-3.54) and risky sex (AOR 1.88, 95% CI 1.04-3.40). No relationship was observed between hyperactivity and later sexual health outcomes. In contrast, high levels of anxiety were associated with reduced odds of risky sex (AOR 0.45, 95% CI 0.25-0.80) and sexually transmitted infections (AOR 0.34, 95% CI 0.17-0.70). Involvement with delinquent peers explained some of the association between antisocial behavior and early sexual debut and risky sex. A poor relationship with parents also explained some of the association between antisocial behavior and early sexual debut. CONCLUSIONS:: The findings demonstrate links between behavioral and emotional problems occurring early in life and later deleterious sexual health outcomes. Targeting antisocial behavior and teaching accurate appraisals of danger during childhood may help mitigate these negative consequences.
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