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Publication Detail
Association of Early-Life Mental Health With Biomarkers in Midlife and Premature Mortality: Evidence From the 1958 British Birth Cohort.
Abstract
Importance: Early-life mental health is known to be associated with socioeconomic adversity and psychological distress in adulthood, but less is known about potential associations with biomarkers and mortality. Objective: To investigate the association between early-life mental health trajectories with biomarkers in midlife and premature mortality. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study used data from the British National Child Development Study, a population-based birth cohort. The initial sample of 17 415 individuals consisted of all infants born in Great Britain in a single week in 1958. Analysis began Feburary 2017 and ended May 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Biomarkers collected at age 44 to 45 years were fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, glycated hemoglobin, high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, forced expiratory volume, blood pressure, and waist-to-hip ratio. Information on all-cause mortality was available up to age 58 years and cause-specific mortality up to age 50 years. Results: Biomarkers were analyzed from 9377 participants (age, 44-45 years, 4712 female [50.3%]) and mortality data from 15 067 participants (age, 58 years; 7379 female [49.0%]). A 4-group longitudinal typology of early-life conduct problems and affective symptoms was identified: (1) stable low, (2) teacher-identified adolescent onset, (3) moderate, and (4) stable high. Compared with the stable-low group, the stable-high (B, 2.308; 95% CI, 0.213-4.404) and teacher-identified adolescent-onset (B, 2.114; 95% CI, 0.725-3.503) groups had less favorable levels of fibrinogen in middle age. Effect modification was observed by sex (P < .005) such that compared with the stable-low group, differences in high-density lipoprotein and abdominal obesity were only observed in female individuals. The stable-high and teacher-identified adolescent-onset groups had elevated risk for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 1.878; 95% CI, 1.501-2.350 and hazard ratio, 1.412; 95% CI, 1.174-1.698). Psychopathology-associated mortality was higher in both groups but unintentional injuries-associated mortality only in the stable-high group. Conclusions and Relevance: Experiencing affective symptoms and conduct problems in childhood and adolescence is associated with less favorable levels of biomarkers 28 years later and elevated risk of premature mortality. These findings, if causal and generalizable to younger cohorts, may imply that effective interventions on early-life mental health have the potential to shift the distribution of risk and improve population health.
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IOE - Social Research Institute
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Epidemiology & Public Health
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MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth & Ageing
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IOE - Social Research Institute
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