The Dunedin Study - DMHDRU

Publications

All peer reviewed publications are listed below.

Displaying page 5 of 21.

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.
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 geneenvironment interaction in two birth cohorts, and we ruled out alternative explanations of the finding involving geneexposure 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.
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.
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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Thomson, W.M., Broadbent, J. M. , Welch, D., Beck, J.D., Poulton, R. | 2007
Cigarette smoking and periodontal disease among 32-year-olds: a prospective study of a representative birth cohort

Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2007, 34(34), 828-34.
Published article online: 16-Aug-2007 doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2007.01131.x
Our ref: RO538

Show abstract » Background: Smoking is recognized as the primary behavioural risk factor for periodontal attachment loss (AL), but confirmatory data from prospective cohort studies are scarce. Aim: To quantify the association between cigarette smoking patterns and AL by age 32. Methods: Periodontal examinations were conducted at ages 26 and 32 in a longstanding prospective study of a birth cohort born in Dunedin (New Zealand) in 1972/1973. Longitudinal categorization of smoking exposure was undertaken using data collected at ages 15, 18, 21, 26 and 32. Results: Complete data were available for 810 individuals of whom 48.9% had ever smoked (31.5% were current smokers). Compared with never-smokers, long-term smokers (and other age-32 smokers) had very high odds ratios (ORs of 7.1 and 5.7, respectively) for having 1 +sites with 5 +mm AL, and were more likely to be incident cases after age 26 (ORs of 5.2 and 3.2, respectively). Two-thirds of new cases after age 26 were attributable to smoking. There were no significant differences in periodontal health between never-smokers and those who had quit smoking after age 26. Conclusions: Current and long-term smoking in young adults is detrimental to periodontal health, but smoking cessation may be associated with a relatively rapid improvement in the periodontium.
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Landhuis, C.E., Poulton, R., Welch, D., Hancox, R. J. | 2007
Does childhood television viewing lead to attention problems in adolescence? Results from a prospective longitudinal study

Pediatrics, 2007, 120(120), 532-537.
http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/120/3/532
Our ref: RO537

Show abstract » CONTEXT: There is controversy over whether childhood television viewing causes attention problems. The findings from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have been mixed. To our knowledge, no longitudinal studies have assessed the impact of children's television viewing on attention problems in adolescence. The objective of this study was to assess this association. DESIGN, PARTICIPANTS, AND SETTING: Study members were a general population birth cohort of 1037 participants (502 female) born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between April 1972 and March 1973. Parental estimates of children's television-viewing time were obtained at ages 5, 7, 9, and 11 years. Self-, parent-, and teacher-reported attention problems in adolescence were obtained at ages 13 and 15 years. RESULTS: The mean of hours of television viewing during childhood was associated with symptoms of attention problems in adolescence. These associations remained significant after controlling for gender, attention problems in early childhood, cognitive ability at 5 years of age, and childhood socioeconomic status. This association was also independent of adolescent television viewing. CONCLUSIONS: Childhood television viewing was associated with attention problems in adolescence, independent of early attention problems and other confounders. These results support the hypothesis that childhood television viewing may contribute to the development of attention problems and suggest that the effects may be long-lasting.
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Roberts, B.W., Harms, P.D., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T.E. | 2007
Predicting the counterproductive employee in a child-to-adult prospective study

Journal of Applied Psychology, 2007, 92(92), 1427-1436.
DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.5.1427
Our ref: RO536.2

Show abstract » The present research tested the relations between a battery of background factors and counterproductive work behaviors in a 23-year longitudinal study of young adults (N 930). Background information, such as diagnosed adolescent conduct disorder, criminal conviction records, intelligence, and personality traits, was assessed before participants entered the labor force. These background factors were combined with work conditions at age 26 to predict counterproductive work behaviors at age 26. The results showed that people diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder were more prone to commit counterproductive work behaviors in young adulthood and that these associations were partially mediated by personality traits measured at age 18. Contrary to expectations, criminal convictions that occurred prior to entering the workforce were unrelated to counterproductive work behaviors. Job conditions and personality traits had independent effects on counterproductive work behaviors, above and beyond background factors.
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Newcombe, R., Milne, B.J., Caspi, A., Poulton, R., Moffitt, T. E. | 2007
Birth weight predicts IQ: Fact or artefact?

Twin Research and Human Genetics, 2007, 10(10), 581-586.
doi: 10.1375/twin.10.4.581
Our ref: RO536

Show abstract » It has been shown that lower birthweight is associated with lower IQ, but it remains unclear whether this association is causal or spurious. We examined the relationship between birthweight and IQ in two prospective longitudinal birth cohorts: a UK cohort of 1116 twin pairs (563 monozygotic [MZ] pairs), born in 199495, and a New Zealand cohort of 1037 singletons born in 197273. IQ was tested with the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children. Birthweight differences within MZ twin pairs predicted IQ differences within pairs, ruling out genetic and shared environmental explanations for the association. Birthweight predicted IQ similarly in the twin and nontwin cohorts after controlling for social disadvantage, attesting that the association generalized beyond twins. An increase of 1000 g in birthweight was associated with a 3 IQ point increase. Results from two cohorts add to evidence that low birthweight is a risk factor for compromised neurological health. Our finding that birthweight differences predict IQ differences within MZ twin pairs provides new evidence that the mechanism can be narrowed to an environmental effect during pregnancy, rather than any familial environmental influence shared by siblings, or genes. With the increasing numbers of low-birthweight infants, our results support the contention that birthweight could be a target for early preventive intervention to reduce the number of children with compromised IQ.
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Thomson, W. M. , Poulton, R., Hancox, R. J. , Ryan, K.M., Al-Kubaisy, S. | 2007
Changes in medication use from age 26 to 32 in a representative birth cohort

Internal Medicine Journal, 2007, 37(37), 543-549.
Our ref: RO535

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: To date, longitudinal studies of medications have been confined to older adults or clinical samples, with no data from prospective studies of younger adults. The aim of the study was to examine changes in medication usage between ages 26 and 32 in a prospective study of a representative birth cohort. METHODS: Medication use during the previous 2 weeks was investigated among 960 individuals at ages 26 and 32. RESULTS: Nearly two-thirds took at least one medication at each age, with medication prevalence higher among women than among men. Three-quarters of those taking at least one at age 26 were doing so at 32. Over-the-counter medication prevalence increased from 35 to 43% between 26 and 32 years of age. Although the prevalence of prescribed medications decreased (from just under half to just over one-third, and from two-thirds to below half among women), there was no significant difference between the ages once hormonal contraceptives were accounted for. By 32, reduced usage of hormonal contraceptives was apparent, with one-third of age-26 users still taking these at 32. Other categories showing major changes were analgesics (increased), anti-asthma drugs (decreased), antidepressants (increased) and antiulcer drugs (increased). At 32, 82% of those taking analgesics, 85% of those taking nutrient supplements, 71% of those taking antihistamines and 33% of those taking antiulcer drugs had self-prescribed them. CONCLUSION: A considerable proportion of the sample used medications by age 32, and there was considerable change between 26 and 32. The changes are likely to have been due to a mix of ageing and period effects.
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Melchior, M. , Caspi, A. , Milne, B. J. , Danese, A. , Poulton, R. , Moffitt, T. E. | 2007
Work stress precipitates depression and anxiety in young, working women and men

Psychological Medicine, 2007, 37(37), 1119-1129.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17407618
Our ref: RO534

Show abstract » ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Rates of depression have been rising, as have rates of work stress. We tested the influence of work stress on diagnosed depression and anxiety in young working adults.MethodParticipants were enrolled in the Dunedin study, a 1972-1973 longitudinal birth cohort assessed most recently in 2004-2005, at age 32 (n=972, 96% of 1015 cohort members still alive). Work stress (psychological job demands, work decision latitude, low work social support, physical work demands) was ascertained by interview. Major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were ascertained using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) and diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. RESULTS: Participants exposed to high psychological job demands (excessive workload, extreme time pressures) had a twofold risk of MDD or GAD compared to those with low job demands. Relative risks (RRs) adjusting for all work characteristics were: 1.90 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22-2.98] in women, and 2.00 (95% CI 1.13-3.56) in men. Analyses ruled out the possibility that the association between work stress and disorder resulted from study members' socio-economic position, a personality tendency to report negatively, or a history of psychiatric disorder prior to labour-market entry. Prospective longitudinal analyses showed that high-demand jobs were associated with the onset of new depression and anxiety disorder in individuals without any pre-job history of diagnosis or treatment for either disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Work stress appears to precipitate diagnosable depression and anxiety in previously healthy young workers. Helping workers cope with work stress or reducing work stress levels could prevent the occurrence of clinically significant depression and anxiety.
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Welch, D., Dawes, P. J. | 2007
Variation in the normal hearing threshold predicts childhood IQ, linguistic and behavioural outcomes

Pediatric Research, 2007, 61(61), 737744.
Our ref: RO533

Show abstract » Childhood hearing level varies considerably within the range considered normal. Four classes of outcome were investigated for associations with hearing thresholds in this range: ability to detect signals in noise, neurocognitive ability, linguistic ability, and behavior. The research was conducted in a general population cohort of 711 children with mean hearing threshold of 15 dB HL or better. Some outcomes: speech in noise, intelligence, and certain linguistic abilities, were predicted in both boys and girls; effects were stronger in girls. In girls only, poorer hearing predicted worse behavior. These effects remained after statistical control for childhood socioeconomic status and otitis media. Variability in normal hearing, due to causes other than otitis media, is associated with the listening, language, and neurocognitive abilities of children, and the behavior of girls. We suggest that these effects may be present for three reasons, cochlear insults, neurodevelopmental factors, and psychological factors. We discuss how these may interact to produce the effects observed.
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Hancox, R. J. , Poulton, R., Greene, J.M., Filsell, S., McLachlan, C. R. , Rasmussen, F., Taylor, D.R. , Williams, M. J. A., Williamson, A., Sears, M.R. | 2007
Systemic inflammation and lung function in young adults

Thorax, 2007, 62(62), 1064-1068.
doi:10.1136/thx.2006.076877
Our ref: RO532

Show abstract » Background: Impaired lung function is associated with systemic inflammation and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in older adults. It is unknown when these associations emerge and to what extent they are mediated by smoking, chronic airways disease, and/or established atherosclerosis. We explored the association between the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the systemic inflammatory marker C-reactive protein in young adults. Methods: Associations between spirometric lung function and blood C-reactive protein were assessed in a population-based birth-cohort of approximately 1000 New Zealanders at ages 26 and 32 years. Analyses adjusted for height and sex to account for differences in predicted lung function and excluded pregnant women. Results: There were significant inverse associations between FEV1 and C-reactive protein at both ages. Similar results were found for the forced vital capacity. These associations were similar in men and women and were independent of smoking, asthma, and body mass index. Conclusions: Reduced lung function is associated with systemic inflammation in young adults. This association is not due to smoking, asthma, or obesity. The reasons for the association are unexplained, but the findings indicate that the association between lower lung function and increased inflammation predates the development of either chronic lung disease or clinically significant atherosclerosis. The association between poor lung function and cardiovascular disease may be mediated by an inflammatory mechanism.
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Mandhane, P.J., Greene, J.M., Sears, M.R. | 2007
Interactions between breast-feeding, specific parental atopy, and sex on development of asthma and atopy

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2007, 119(119), 1359-1366.
Our ref: RO531

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: The influence of breast-feeding on the risk of developing atopy and asthma remains controversial. OBJECTIVE: To examine asthma and atopy outcomes by sex, reported specific parental history of atopy, and breast-feeding. METHODS: In a birth cohort, we examined childhood asthma and atopy (positive skin prick tests) by sex and breast-feeding in relation to maternal and paternal atopy. Interactions were explored in logistic regression models. RESULTS: For boys, breast-feeding (odds ratio [OR], 1.63; 95% CI, 0.93-2.87; P = .09) and maternal atopy (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 0.93-4.08; P = .08) were each associated with atopy at age 13 years. Breast-feeding increased the risk for atopy among boys with paternal atopy (OR, 7.39; 95% CI, 2.21-24.66) compared with non-breast-fed boys with paternal atopy, but did not significantly further increase risk among subjects with maternal atopy. For girls, breast-feeding (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.41-1.31) and maternal and paternal atopy were not independent risk factors for atopy at age 13 years. However, breast-feeding increased the risk for atopy in girls with maternal atopy (OR, 3.13; 95% CI, 1.20-8.14) compared with non-breast-fed girls with maternal atopy. There was no such effect among subjects with paternal atopy. Results for the outcome of asthma followed a similar pattern. CONCLUSION: The influence of breast-feeding on development of atopy and asthma differs by sex and by maternal and paternal atopy, and is most significant among subjects at lower baseline risk. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Analyses of environmental risk factors for asthma and atopy should be stratified by specific parental atopy and sex.
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Moffitt, T. E. , Harrington, H.L. , Caspi, A. , Kim-Cohen, J. , Goldberg, D. , Gregory, A. M. , Poulton, R. | 2007
Depression and generalized anxiety disorder: cumulative and sequential comorbidity in a birth cohort followed prospectively to age 32 years

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2007, 64(64), 651-60.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17548747
Our ref: RO530

Show abstract » CONTEXT: The close association between generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) prompts questions about how to characterize this association in future diagnostic systems. Most information about GAD-MDD comorbidity comes from patient samples and retrospective surveys. OBJECTIVE: To revisit the sequential and cumulative comorbidity between GAD and MDD using data from a prospective longitudinal cohort. DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal cohort study. SETTING: New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: The representative 1972-1973 Dunedin birth cohort of 1037 members was followed up to age 32 years with 96% retention. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Research diagnoses of anxiety and depression were made at ages 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 26, and 32 years. Mental health services were reported on a life history calendar. RESULTS: Sequentially, anxiety began before or concurrently in 37% of depression cases, but depression began before or concurrently in 32% of anxiety cases. Cumulatively, 72% of lifetime anxiety cases had a history of depression, but 48% of lifetime depression cases had anxiety. During adulthood, 12% of the cohort had comorbid GAD + MDD, of whom 66% had recurrent MDD, 47% had recurrent GAD, 64% reported using mental health services, 47% took psychiatric medication, 8% were hospitalized, and 11% attempted suicide. In this comorbid group, depression onset occurred first in one third of the participants, anxiety onset occurred first in one third, and depression and anxiety onset began concurrently in one third. CONCLUSIONS: Challenging the prevailing notion that generalized anxiety usually precedes depression and eventually develops into depression, these findings show that the reverse pattern occurs almost as often. The GAD-MDD relation is strong, suggesting that the disorders could be classified in 1 category of distress disorders. Their developmental relation seems more symmetrical than heretofore presumed, suggesting that MDD is not necessarily primary over GAD in diagnostic hierarchy. This prospective study suggests that the lifetime prevalence of GAD and MDD may be underestimated by retrospective surveys and that comorbid GAD + MDD constitutes a greater mental health burden than previously thought.
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Dickson, N., van Roode, T., Herbison, G. P. , Taylor, J. , Cunningham, A. L. , Paul, C. | 2007
Risk of herpes simplex virus type 2 acquisition increases over early adulthood: evidence from a cohort study

Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2007, 83(83), 87-90.
Our ref: RO529

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine how the risk of acquisition of herpes simplex type 2 infection varies with age and sex in early adulthood. Design/ SETTING: A cohort study of 1037 children established at age three from those born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972/3. PARTICIPANTS: At the age 32 assessment, 884 participants (432 women and 452 men), 87.1% of the surviving cohort, provided both sera and information on sexual behaviour. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We measured the proportion with antibodies to HSV-2 infection at ages 26 and 32, then calculated the incidence rates from first coitus to age 26 and from age 26 to 32, adjusting for the number of sexual partners and same sex contact in these age periods. RESULTS: At age 32, 14.6% of men and 22.5% of women had antibodies to HSV-2. Up to age 26 the incidence rates were 6.5 and 14.3 per 1000 person-years for men and women respectively. From age 26 to 32 the incidence rates were 14.3 and 15.8 per 1000 person-years for men and women respectively. When adjusted for sexual behaviour, the incidence rate ratio, comparing the older to the younger age periods, was 2.9 (95% confidence interval 1.7 to 4.9) for men and 2.0 (95% confidence interval 1.2 to 3.4) for women. Comparing women to men, up to age 26 the adjusted incidence rate ratio was 2.5 (95% confidence interval 1.6 to 4.0) and from age 26 to 32, 1.3 (95% confidence interval 0.78 to 2.2). A test for interaction indicated that men and women had different patterns of incidence over time (p=0.039). CONCLUSION: In the general population, risk of acquiring HSV-2 infection appears to increase with age at least to the early 30s, and differences in risk of acquisition for women compared to men become less with age. Health promotion and treatment to control HSV-2 infection should be aimed at all ages, not just the young.
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Odgers, C.L., Caspi, A. , Broadbent, J. M. , Dickson, N., Hancox, R. J. , Harrington, H. L., Poulton, R., Sears, M.R., Thomson, W. M. , Moffitt, T. E. | 2007
Prediction of differential adult health burden by conduct problem subtypes in males

Archives of General Psychiatry, 2007, 64(64), 476-484.
Our ref: RO528

Show abstract » Context A cardinal feature of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder is the distinction between childhood- vs adolescent-onset subtypes. Whether such developmental subtypes exist in the population and have different prognoses should be rigorously tested to inform the DSM-V. Objectives To evaluate the epidemiological validity of childhood- vs adolescent-onset conduct problems in a prospective birth cohort, and to assess whether life-course-persistent conduct problems are associated with a greater adult health burden. Design, Setting, and Participants Our sample includes 526 male study members in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a 1-year birth cohort (April 1, 1972, through March 30, 1973). Developmental trajectories were defined using prospective ratings of conduct problems at 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, and 26 years of age. Main Outcome Measures Health burden was assessed as mental and physical health problems at 32 years of age measured via diagnostic interviews and physical examinations. Results We identified the following 4 developmental subtypes of conduct problems through general growth mixture modeling: (1) childhood-onset/life-course-persistent, (2) adolescent onset, (3) childhood limited, and (4) low. At 32 years of age, study members with the life-course-persistent subtype experienced the worst health burden. To a lesser extent, those with the adolescent-onset subtype also experienced health problems. A childhood-limited subtype not specified by DSM-IV was revealed; its adult health outcomes were within the range of the cohort norm. Conclusions Results support the epidemiological validity of the DSM-IV conduct disorder distinction based on age of onset but highlight the need to also consider long-term persistence to refine diagnosis. Preventing and treating conduct problems has the potential to reduce the adult health burden.
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McLachlan, C. R. , Poulton, R., Car, G., Cowan, J.O., Filsell, S., Taylor, D.R. , Welch, D., Williamson, A., Sears, M.R., Hancox, R. J. | 2007
Adiposity, asthma and airway inflammation

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2007, 119(119), 634-639.
Our ref: RO527

Show abstract » Background. Several studies have found obesity to be associated with an increased prevalence of asthma. For reasons that remain unclear, this association has often been reported to be stronger in women than men. One possible explanation may be that these studies have used body mass index to identify adiposity, which may be a less reliable measure of body fat in men than women. Objective. To explore the association between body fat percent measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis, and asthma, airflow obstruction and airway inflammation in men and women. Methods. Respiratory questionnaires, spirometry, bronchodilator response, exhaled nitric oxide and percent body fat were measured in a population-based cohort of approximately 1000 individuals at age 32. Results. There was a significant association between percent body fat and asthma in women (p=0.043) but not in men (p=0.75). Airflow obstruction was associated with percent body fat in women (p=0.046) but there was an inverse association in men (p=0.010). Bronchodilator responsiveness was also associated with lower body fat in men (p=0.004). Airway inflammation, measured by exhaled nitric oxide, was not associated with body fat in either women (p=0.17) or men (p=0.25). Conclusion. Adiposity is associated with asthma and airflow obstruction in women. This does not appear to be mediated by airway inflammation. In men airflow obstruction and bronchodilator responsiveness are associated with a lower percent body fat. Clinical Implication. In women, but not in men, obesity is associated with asthma and airflow obstruction but there was no association with airway inflammation.
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Welch, D. , Dawes, P. J. | 2007
No negative outcomes of childhood middle ear disease in adulthood

Laryngoscope, 2007, 117(117), 466-69.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17334307
Our ref: RO526

Show abstract » OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To test the hypothesis that childhood middle-ear disease may have disadvantageous long-term psychosocial consequences in adulthood. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal study of a general-population birth cohort. METHODS: One thousand thirty-seven people born in 1972/73 were studied from birth to age 26 when 1,019 (96% of survivors) were followed up. Childhood otitis media was assessed, and effects of it have previously been observed in childhood and adolescence. We considered outcome measures that were plausible adult counterparts of the childhood constructs shown to be impaired by otitis media: socioeconomic status, employment status, educational outcomes, personality, mental health, antisocial and criminal behavior, and subjective ratings of personal health (SF-36). RESULTS: No outcome measure was predicted by severity of childhood otitis media. CONCLUSIONS: Adult psychological and socioeconomic outcomes are not related to childhood otitis media when appropriate treatment is available.
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Moffitt, T. E. , Caspi, A. , Harrington, H. L. , Milne, B. J. , Melchior, M. , Goldberg, D. , Poulton, R. | 2007
Generalized anxiety disorder and depression: childhood risk factors in a birth cohort followed to age 32

Psychological Medicine, 2007, 37(37), 441-52.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17201999
Our ref: RO525

Show abstract » Background. The close association between generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) prompts questions about how to characterize them in future diagnostic systems. We tested whether risk factors for MDD and GAD are similar or different. Method. The representative 1972-73 Dunedin birth cohort of 1037 males and females was followed to age 32 with 96% retention. Adult GAD and MDD were diagnosed at ages 18, 21, 26, and 32 years, and juvenile anxiety/depression were also taken into account. Thirteen prospective risk measures indexed domains of family history, adverse family environment, childhood behavior, and adolescent self-esteem and personality traits.Results. Co-morbid MDD+GAD was antedated by highly elevated risk factors broadly across all domains. MDD+GAD was further characterized by the earliest onset, most recurrence, and greatest use of mental health services and medication. Pure GAD had levels of risk factors similar to the elevated levels for co-morbid MDD+GAD; generally, pure MDD did not. Pure GAD had risks during childhood not shared by pure MDD, in domains of adverse family environment (low SES, somewhat more maltreatment) and childhood behavior (internalizing problems, conduct problems, somewhat more inhibited temperament). Pure MDD had risks not shared by pure GAD, in domains of family history (of depression) and personality (low positive emotionality).Conclusions. Specific antecedent risk factors for pure adult MDD versus GAD may suggest partly different etiological pathways. That GAD and co-morbid MDD+GAD share many risk markers suggests that the presence of GAD may signal a pathway toward relatively more severe internalizing disorder.
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Piquero, A.R., Moffitt, T. E. , Wright, B.R. | 2007
Self-control and criminal career dimensions

Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 2007, 23(23), 72-89.
http://ccj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/23/1/72
Our ref: RO524

Show abstract » The criminal career paradigm parcels offenders careers into multiple dimensions, including participation, frequency, persistence, seriousness, career length, and desistance, and each dimension may have different causes. In a forceful critique of this perspective, Gottfredson and Hirschi claim that low self-control equally predicts all dimensions of criminal behavior and that its effect holds steady across types of people, including both men and women. This study examines the link between low self-control and the career dimensions of participation, frequency, persistence, and desistance from crime. Analyses also investigate whether self-control distinguishes between persistence and desistance. Using data from 985 participants in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Human Development Study, the authors found overall support for Gottfredson and Hirschis position.
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Gregory, A. M. , Caspi, A. , Moffitt, T. E. , Koenen, K., Eley, T. C. , Poulton, R. | 2007
Juvenile mental health histories of adults with anxiety disorders

American Journal of Psychiatry, 2007, 164(164), 301-308.
Our ref: RO523

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: Information about the psychiatric histories of adults with anxiety disorders was examined to further inform nosology and etiological/ preventive efforts. METHOD: The authors used data from a prospective longitudinal study of a representative birth cohort (N=1,037) from ages 11 to 32 years, making psychiatric diagnoses according to DSM criteria. For adults with anxiety disorders at 32 years, follow-back analyses ascertained first diagnosis of anxiety and other juvenile disorders. RESULTS: Of adults with each type of anxiety disorder, approximately half had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder (one-third with an anxiety disorder) by age 15. The juvenile histories of psychiatric problems for adults with different types of anxiety disorders were largely nonspecific, partially reflecting comorbidity at 32 years. Histories of anxiety and depression were most common. There was also specificity. For example, adults with panic disorder did not have histories of juvenile disorders, whereas those with other anxiety disorders did. Adults with posttraumatic stress disorder had histories of conduct disorder, whereas those with other anxiety disorders did not. Adults with specific phobia had histories of juvenile phobias but not other anxiety disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Strong comorbidity between different anxiety disorders and lack of specificity in developmental histories of adults with anxiety disorders supports a hierarchical approach to classification, with a broad class of anxiety disorders having individual disorders within it. The early first diagnosis of psychiatric difficulties in individuals with anxiety disorders suggests the need to target research examining the etiology of anxiety disorders and preventions early in life.
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Koenen, K., Moffitt, T. E. , Poulton, R., Martin, J. , Caspi, A. | 2007
Early childhood factors associated with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder: results from a longitudinal birth cohort

Psychological Medicine, 2007, 37(37), 181-192.
Our ref: RO522

Show abstract » Background. Childhood factors have been associated with increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Previous studies assessed only a limited number of childhood factors retrospectively. We examined the association between childhood neurodevelopmental, temperamental, behavioral and family environmental characteristics assessed before age 11 years and the development of PTSD up to age 32 years in a birth cohort.Method. Members of a 1972-73 New Zealand birth cohort (n=1037) who were assessed at ages 26 and 32 years for PTSD as defined by DSM-IV.Results. We identified two sets of childhood risk factors. The first set of risk factors was associated both with increased risk of trauma exposure and with PTSD assessed at age 26. These included childhood externalizing characteristics and family environmental stressors, specifically maternal distress and loss of a parent. The second set of risk factors affected risk for PTSD only and included low IQ and chronic environmental adversity. The effect of cumulative childhood factors on risk of PTSD at age 26 was substantial; over 58% of cohort members in the highest risk quartile for three developmental factors had PTSD as compared to only 25% of those not at high risk on any factors. Low IQ at age 5, antisocial behavior, and poverty before age 11 continued to predict PTSD related to traumatic events that occurred between the ages of 26 and 32.Conclusions. Developmental capacities and conditions of early childhood may increase both risk of trauma exposure and the risk that individuals will respond adversely to traumatic exposures. Rather than being solely a response to trauma, PTSD may have developmental origins.
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Danese, A., Caspi, A., Pariante, C.M., Taylor, A. , Moffitt, T. E. , Poulton, R. | 2007
Childhood maltreatment predicts adult inflammation: A life-course study

PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA), 2007, 104(104), 1319-1324.
Our ref: RO521

Show abstract » BACKGROUND. Stress in early life has been associated with insufficient glucocorticoid signaling in adulthood, possibly affecting inflammation processes. Childhood maltreatment has also been linked to increased risk of adult disease with potential inflammatory origin. However, the impact of early-life stress on adult inflammation has not been investigated in humans to date. METHODS. We tested the life-course association between childhood maltreatment and adult inflammation in a birth cohort from birth to age 32 years as part of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. Cox regression models were used to estimate the effect of childhood maltreatment on inflammation adjusted for co-occurring risk factors and potential mediating variables. RESULTS. Maltreated children showed a significant and graded increase in the risk for high C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) levels in adulthood (RR=1.80, 95% CI=1.26-2.58). The effect of childhood maltreatment on adult inflammation was independent of the influence of co-occurring early-life risks (RR=1.58, 95% CI=1.08-2.31), stress exposure in adulthood (RR=1.64, 95% CI=1.13-2.40), and adult health and health behavior (RR=1.76, 95% CI=1.23-2.51). More than 10% of cases of low-grade inflammation in the population - as indexed by high hsCRP may be attributable to childhood maltreatment. The association between maltreatment and adult inflammation also generalizes to fibrinogen and white blood cells count. CONCLUSION. Childhood maltreatment is a novel and preventable risk factor for low-grade inflammation in adulthood. Inflammation may be an important developmental mediator linking adverse experiences in early life to adult health.
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Poulton, R., Hancox, R. J. , Milne, B.J., Baxter, J., Scott, K., Wilson, N. | 2006
The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study: are its findings consistent with the overall New Zealand population?

New Zealand Medical Journal, 2006, 119(119), U2002.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16751825
Our ref: NZ91

Show abstract » AIMS: To compare the health of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study members with people of the same age in the nationally representative New Zealand Health and National Nutrition Surveys. METHOD: Where similar information was obtained, means or proportions and confidence intervals were generated for both the age 26 assessment of the Dunedin sample and for the 25-26 year old participants in the national surveys. The populations were considered to differ when confidence intervals did not overlap. RESULTS: For smoking habit, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, general practitioner and medical specialist consultations, and hospital admissions, the findings of the Dunedin Study were not significantly different to the nationally representative surveys. The Dunedin Study members also did not differ from their national counterparts on SF-36 subscales measuring physical functioning, bodily pain, general health, vitality, and mental health. They had better scores on the three interference subscales of the SF-36 compared to the national sample, and men in the Dunedin Study spent a little more time doing vigorous physical activity. DISCUSSION: For most outcomes, the Dunedin Study members were very similar to the nationally representative samples. There was little evidence that the repeated assessments in the Dunedin Study had significantly altered the Study members' health, either in terms of responses to questionnaires or on physiological measures of health status. Findings from the Dunedin Study are likely to be generalisable to most young New Zealanders. However, the Dunedin Study is under-representative of Maori and Pacific peoples, so these findings need to be interpreted with caution in this context. Implications for the proposed national Longitudinal Study of New Zealand Children and Families are discussed.
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Martin, J. , Langley, J.D., Millichamp, J. | 2006
Domestic violence as witnessed by New Zealand children

New Zealand Medical Journal, 2006, 119(119), .
http:/www.nzma.org.nz/journal/119-1228/1817/
Our ref: NZ90

Show abstract » Background: This study reports on domestic violence in New Zealand families witnessed by members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. Method: Questions on the witnessing of father to mother and mother to father physical violence and threats of harm up to the age of 18 were included in a retrospective family violence interview carried out when the cohort was interviewed at age 26. Study members who reported violence between parents were asked about the nature, context, and consequences of this violence. Results: One-quarter (24%) of the sample reported violence or threats of violence directed from one parent to the other. Nine percent reported infrequent assaults while one in 10 reported more than five acts of physical violence. In violent families, 55% reported violence by fathers only, 28% by both partners, and 16% by mothers only. Almost 90% of the exposed group witnessed violence between natural parents, and 80% were exposed to violence before the age of 11. The gender of the study member or parent did not predict how upset study members were, but frequency of violence did. Witnesses were more likely than non-witnesses to have diagnoses of anxiety and depression at age 21. Socioeconomic status and age of parents were related to violence patterns, but not the mothers education or employment status. Conclusion: This study suggests that a quarter of young adults have been exposed to acts or threats of violence carried out by one parent toward another parent, and the majority found such witnessing to be a very upsetting experience. Public education programmes should emphasise that all violence carries risk of harm to all family members.
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Millichamp, J., Martin, J. , Langley, J.D. | 2006
On the receiving end: young adults describe their parents' use of physical punishment and other disciplinary measures during childhood

New Zealand Medical Journal, 2006, 119(119), .
http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/119-1228/1818/
Our ref: NZ89

Show abstract » Aim: To investigate the prevalence, nature, and context of physical punishment and other forms of parental discipline, as reported by study members (SMs) of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. Methods: 962 26-year-old adults (born in Dunedin, New Zealand) were interviewed about their experiences of discipline in childhood. Study members were asked about the usual forms of punishment received in primary and secondary school years, as well as the worst punishment they ever received. Details regarding the study members reactions to different punishments were collected. Variables related to the person administering the punishment were also investigated. Results: Of the study members providing data, 80% reported receiving physical punishment at some time during childhood: 29% identifying smacking; 45% reporting being hit with an object; and 6% reporting extreme physical punishment as the most severe form. Physical punishment on a regular basis was reported by 71% of study members. Results varied by age with more study members reporting physical punishment in primary school years. However, the number of study members experiencing physical punishment in adolescence was still high, at 47%. Significant gender differences were found in reported punishment, with more girls smacked, and more boys hit with an object in primary school years. Punisher-related reports showed that mothers were significantly more likely to employ non-physical forms of punishment whereas fathers were significantly more likely to use extreme physical punishment. Conclusion: For many New Zealanders, experiences of physical punishment during childhood are very much the norm. These findings have implications for the young adults studied as they now enter the parenting years and for efforts aimed at prevention and early intervention for at-risk groups.
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Hancox, R. J. , Poulton, R., Taylor, D.R. , Greene, J.M., McLachlan, C. R. , Cowan, J.O., Flannery, E. M. , Herbison, G. P. , Sears, M.R., Talley, N. J. | 2006
Associations between respiratory symptoms, lung function and gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms in a population-based birth cohort

Respiratory Research, 2006, 7(7), 142.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17147826
Our ref: RO520

Show abstract » ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported an association between asthma and gastro-oesophageal reflux, but it is unclear which condition develops first. The role of obesity in mediating this association is also unclear. We explored the associations between respiratory symptoms, lung function, and gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms in a birth cohort of approximately 1000 individuals. METHODS: Information on respiratory symptoms, asthma, atopy, lung function and airway responsiveness was obtained at multiple assessments from childhood to adulthood in an unselected birth cohort of 1037 individuals followed to age 26. Symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux and irritable bowel syndrome were recorded at age 26. RESULTS: Heartburn and acid regurgitation symptoms that were at least moderately bothersome at age 26 were significantly associated with asthma (odds ratio = 3.2; 95% confidence interval = 1.6-6.4), wheeze (OR = 3.5; 95% CI = 1.7-7.2), and nocturnal cough (OR = 4.3; 95% CI = 2.1-8.7) independently of body mass index. In women reflux symptoms were also associated with airflow obstruction and a bronchodilator response to salbutamol. Persistent wheezing since childhood, persistence of asthma since teenage years, and airway hyperresponsiveness since age 11 were associated with a significantly increased risk of heartburn and acid regurgitation at age 26. There was no association between irritable bowel syndrome and respiratory symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Reflux symptoms are associated with respiratory symptoms in young adults independently of body mass index. The mechanism of these associations remains unclear.
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Thomson, W. M. , Lawrence, H. P. , Broadbent, J. M. , Poulton, R. | 2006
The impact of xerostomia on oral-health-related quality of life among younger adults

Health & Quality of Life Outcomes, 2006, 4(4), 86.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17090332
Our ref: RO519

Show abstract » BACKGROUND: Recent research has suggested that chronic dry mouth affects the day-to-day lives of older people living in institutions. The condition has usually been considered to be a feature of old age, but recent work by our team produced the somewhat surprising finding that 10% of people in their early thirties are affected. This raises the issue of whether dry mouth is a trivial condition or a more substantial threat to quality of life among younger people. The objective of this study was to examine the association between xerostomia and oral-health-related quality of life among young adults while controlling for clinical oral health status and other potential confounding factors. METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis of data from a longstanding prospective observational study of a Dunedin (New Zealand) birth cohort: clinical dental examinations and questionnaires were used at age 32. The main measures were xerostomia (the subjective feeling of dry mouth, measured with a single question) and oral-health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) measured using the short-form Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14). RESULTS: Of the 923 participants (48.9% female), one in ten were categorised as 'xerostomic', with no apparent gender difference. There was a strong association between xerostomia and OHRQoL (across all OHIP-14 domains) which persisted after multivariate analysis to control for clinical characteristics, gender, smoking status and personality characteristics (negative emotionality and positive emotionality). CONCLUSION: Xerostomia is not a trivial condition; it appears to have marked and consistent effects on sufferers' day-to-day lives.
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Clarke, J., Kim, B., Poulton, R., Milne, B.J. | 2006
The Role of Low Expectations in Health and Education investment and Hazardous Consumption

Canadian Journal of Economics, 2006, 39(39), 1151-1172.
Our ref: RO518

Show abstract » Young people with little "social or health capital" may be more likely to take up hazardous consumption and shun investments in human capital, raising their likelihood of a "rags to rags" sequence. First, diminishing marginal utility could raise the marginal benefit of hazardous consumption, and the cost of investment. But poor youths may also have lower expectations of future success, independent of the choices they make. Lower expectations of success could reduce the future cost of hazardous consumption and benefit of investment. We test the effect of expectations on decisions to smoke, drink hazardously, exercise, and complete high school, using a longitudinal study of youth in New Zealand. We find that 15 year olds' expectations of success predict the subsequent onset of smoking, lack of exercise and failure to complete high school, but not hazardous drinking. While some of the influence of expectations can be explained by low social and health capital, IQ and other factors, expectations retain a direct effect on smoking and exercise once these other factors are controlled for.
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McGee, R. , Williams, S.M. , Reeder, A. | 2006
Parental tobacco smoking behaviour and their children's smoking and cessation in adulthood

Addiction, 2006, 101(101), 1193-201.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16869849
Our ref: RO517

Show abstract » AIMS: To examine the extent to which childhood exposure to parental tobacco smoking, smoking cessation and parental disapproval of smoking predicts daily smoking and attempts to quit in adulthood. DESIGN: A longitudinal prospective design was used to examine the possible association between parental smoking variables in childhood and adolescence and subsequent smoking and cessation by age 26 years. PARTICIPANTS: Interview data were collected as part of a longitudinal study of some 950 individuals followed from birth to age 26 years. Outcome measures were daily smoking and self-reported attempts to quit smoking. FINDINGS: Less daily smoking among the participants at age 26 was related more strongly to parental smoking cessation in the adolescent years than the childhood years. By contrast, inconsistent advice about smoking in childhood and adolescence predicted later daily smoking. Cessation attempts to age 26 were unrelated to earlier parental quitting but were related to consistent advice in adolescence from both parents about smoking. CONCLUSIONS: Encouraging parents to voice consistent messages about their disapproval of smoking has a significant role to play in discouraging smoking in their adult children and promoting attempt to quit where their children are smokers.
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Cannon, M., Moffitt, T.E., Caspi, A., Murray, R. M., Harrington, H. L., Poulton, R. | 2006
Neuropsychological performance at the age of 13 years and adult schizophreniform disorder: prospective birth cohort study. Short Report.

British Journal of Psychiatry, 2006, 189(189), 463-464.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17077440
Our ref: RO516

Show abstract » We examined neuropsychological functioning at age 13 years in adolescents who later developed schizophreniform disorder, compared with healthy controls and with adolescents diagnosed as having had a manic episode or depression or anxiety disorder. Participants were from an unselected birth cohort. Attentional, executive and motor impairments at age 13 were found in those who later fulfilled diagnostic criteria for schizophreniform disorder, suggesting that these impairments may be the earliest emerging neuropsychological impairments in schizophrenia-related disorders.
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Broadbent, J. M. , Thomson, W. M. , Poulton, R. | 2006
Progression of dental caries and tooth loss between the third and fourth decades of life: a birth cohort study

Caries Research, 2006, 40(40), 459-465.
Our ref: RO515

Show abstract » The majority of what is known of the experience of dental caries among adults is from cross-sectional studies, and there are surprisingly few population-level longitudinal studies of dental caries among adults. Dental examinations were conducted at age 26 and again at age 32 among participants in a longstanding prospective study of a birth cohort born in Dunedin (New Zealand) in 1972/1973. Some 901 individuals (88.8%) were dentally examined at both ages. The mean number of remaining teeth and tooth surfaces fell between 26 and 32, reflecting ongoing tooth loss. The overall prevalence of caries rose from 94.9 to 96.8%, while there were greater increases in the proportion with caries-associated tooth loss (from 10.8 to 22.8%). Caries experience was greatest in the molar teeth and upper premolars, and was lowest in the lower anterior teeth. The mean crude caries increment (CCI) was 5.0 surfaces (SD 6.6); 681 (75.5%) experienced 1+ CCI, and the mean CCI among those individuals was 6.6 surfaces (SD 6.9). Substantial dental caries and tooth loss experience occur as people move from the third into the fourth decade of life.
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Broadbent, J. M. , Williams, K. B. , Thomson, W. M. , Williams, S. M. | 2006
Dental restorations: a risk factor for periodontal attachment loss?

Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2006, 33(33), 803-10.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16970623
Our ref: RO514

Show abstract » Background: Dental caries and restorations in proximal tooth surfaces often impinge upon the periodontal biological width. Aim: This study examines whether these factors may contribute to risk for periodontal attachment loss at these sites. Methods: The study is based upon data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a long-standing cohort study. Approximal tooth surfaces of 884 study members were evaluated for restorations and caries at age 26 and again at 32 years, and probing depth and gingival recession were recorded in millimetres at age 32. Attachment loss was computed as the sum of pocket depth and gingival recession. Data were analysed using generalized estimating equations. Results: Where a caries/restorative event had occurred on an inter-proximal tooth surface before age 26, the age-32 attachment loss at the corresponding periodontal site was approximately twice more likely to be >/=3 mm than if the adjacent tooth surface had remained sound to age 32. This was also true where a caries/restorative event had occurred subsequent to age 26. The association remained after controlling for potential confounders, including smoking. Conclusions: Site-specific periodontal attachment loss due to dental caries or restorative events occurs in adults in their third and fourth decades of life.
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McGee, R. , Williams, S. M. | 2006
Predictors of persistent smoking and quitting among women smokers [short communication]

Addictive Behaviors, 2006, 31(31), 1711-1715.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16457962
Our ref: RO513

Show abstract » This study examined predictors of persistent tobacco smoking and smoking cessation in a longitudinal study of women's health. The sample consisted of 575 women, with an average age of 34 years at baseline. Follow-up occurred some 13 years later. Two models of smoking behavior were examined, the first identifying correlates of daily smoking at baseline and the second identifying predictors of subsequent quitting at follow-up among those smoking at baseline. Poor maternal education, being young at birth of first child, high level of anxiety, having a partner who smoked, and high tea/coffee consumption were all associated with smoking at baseline. Being a young mother and number of cigarettes smoked at baseline predicted subsequent persistent smoking while high levels of anxiety significantly predicted subsequent quitting.
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Caspi, A. , Harrington, H. L., Moffitt, T. E. , Milne, B. J. , Poulton, R. | 2006
Socially isolated children 20 years later: risk of cardiovascular disease

Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2006, 160(160), 805-11.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16894079
Our ref: RO512

Show abstract » OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that children who occupy peripheral or isolated roles in their peer groups (isolated children) are at risk of poor adult health. DESIGN: Longitudinal study of an entire birth cohort. SETTING: Dunedin, New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1037 children who were followed up from birth to age 26 years. INTERVENTIONS: Measurement of social isolation in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: When study members were 26 years old, we measured adult cardiovascular multifactorial risk status (overweight, elevated blood pressure, elevated total cholesterol level, low high-density lipoprotein level, elevated glycated hemoglobin concentration, and low maximum oxygen consumption). RESULTS: Socially isolated children were at significant risk of poor adult health compared with nonisolated children (risk ratio, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-1.61). This association was independent of other well-established childhood risk factors for poor adult health (low childhood socioeconomic status, low childhood IQ, childhood overweight), was not accounted for by health-damaging behaviors (lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol misuse), and was not attributable to greater exposure to stressful life events. In addition, longitudinal findings showed that chronic social isolation across multiple developmental periods had a cumulative, dose-response relationship to poor adult health (risk ratio, 2.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.46-4.56). CONCLUSIONS: Longitudinal findings about children followed up to adulthood suggest that social isolation has persistent and cumulative detrimental effects on adult health. The findings underscore the usefulness of a life-course approach to health research, by focusing attention on the effect of the timing of psychosocial risk factors in relation to adult health.
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Gregory, A. M. , Caspi, A., Moffitt, T.E., Poulton, R. | 2006
Family conflict in childhood: A predictor of later insomnia

Sleep, 2006, 29(29), 1063-1067.
Our ref: RO511

Show abstract » Study Objectives: To examine the association between childhood exposure to family conflict and insomnia at 18 years. Design: Longitudinal prospective data on an entire birth cohort were obtained. Parents completed the Conflict subscale of the Moos Family Environment Scale when the study members were 7, 9, 13 and 15 years of age. Insomnia was examined in a standardized interview when the participants were aged 18 years. Setting: Participants were born in Dunedin, New Zealand and were interviewed at this location. Patients or Participants: 1,037 children born between April 1, 1972 and March 31, 1973 enrolled in the study (52% male). At age 18 years, 993 (97% of living cohort members) provided data. Measurements and Results: Mean level of family conflict at 7 to 15 years predicted insomnia at 18 years after controlling for sex, SES, sleep problems at 9 years and self-reported health (OR(95%CI) = 1.42 (1.17-1.73), p <.001). There was a dose-response relationship, whereby the more assessments at which families scored in the top 25% for conflict, the greater the young persons likelihood of developing insomnia at 18 years. This association was present even after controlling for depression at 18 years. Conclusions: This study demonstrates a modest but robust longitudinal link between family conflict during childhood and insomnia experienced at 18 years. Future work needs to replicate this finding in different populations and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this association.
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