Hostinar et al., 2015. Additive contributions of childhood adversity and recent stressors to inflammation at midlife: Findings from the MIDUS study.

Hostinar, C. E., Lachman, M. E., Mroczek, D. K., Seeman, T. E., & Miller, G. E. (2015). Additive contributions of childhood adversity and recent stressors to inflammation at midlife: Findings from the MIDUS study. Developmental psychology, 51(11), 1630.

Year: 
2015
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

We examined the joint contributions of self-reported adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and recent life events (RLEs) to inflammation at midlife, by testing 3 competing theoretical models: stress generation, stress accumulation, and early life stress sensitization. We aimed to identify potential mediators between adversity and inflammation. Participants were 1,180 middle-aged and older adults from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Biomarker Project (M age = 57.3 years, SD = 11.5; 56% female). A composite measure of inflammation was derived from 5 biomarkers: serum levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, fibrinogen, E-selectin, and ICAM-1. Participants provided self-report data regarding ACEs, RLEs, current lifestyle indices (cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, physical exercise, waist circumference), current depressive symptoms, and demographic/biomedical characteristics. We also used indices of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenocortical outflow (12-hr urinary cortisol) and sympathetic nervous system output (12-hr urinary norepinephrine and epinephrine). Analyses indicated that ACEs and RLEs were independently associated with higher levels of inflammation, controlling for each other’s effects. Their interaction was not significant. The results were consistent with the hypothesis that associations between ACEs and inflammation were mediated through higher urinary norepinephrine output, greater waist circumference, smoking, and lower levels of exercise, whereas higher waist circumference and more smoking partially mediated the association between RLEs and inflammation. In support of the stress accumulation model, ACEs and RLEs had unique and additive contributions to inflammation at midlife, with no evidence of synergistic effects. Results also suggested that norepinephrine output and lifestyle indices may help explain how prior stressors foster inflammation at midlife. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Clouston et al., 2015. Educational Inequalities in Health Behaviors at Midlife: Is There a Role for Early-life Cognition?

Clouston, S. A., Richards, M., Cadar, D., & Hofer, S. M. (2015). Educational inequalities in health behaviors at midlife: Is there a role for early-life cognition? Journal of health and social behavior, 56(3), 323-340.

Year: 
2015
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Education is a fundamental cause of social inequalities in health because it influences the distribution of resources, including money, knowledge, power, prestige, and beneficial social connections, that can be used in situ to influence health. Recent studies have highlighted early-life cognition as commonly indicating the propensity for educational attainment and determining health and age of mortality. Health behaviors provide a plausible mechanism linking both education and cognition to later-life health and mortality. We examine the role of education and cognition in predicting smoking, heavy drinking, and physical inactivity at midlife using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (N = 10,317), National Survey of Health and Development (N = 5,362), and National Childhood Development Study (N = 16,782). Adolescent cognition was associated with education but was inconsistently associated with health behaviors. Education, however, was robustly associated with improved health behaviors after adjusting for cognition. Analyses highlight structural inequalities over individual capabilities when studying health behaviors.

Cadar et al., 2017. An International Evaluation of Cognitive Reserve and Memory Changes in Early Old Age in 10 European Countries.

Cadar, D., Robitaille, A., Clouston, S., Hofer, S. M., Piccinin, A. M., & Muniz-Terrera, G. (2017). An international evaluation of cognitive reserve and memory changes in early old age in 10 European countries. Neuroepidemiology, 48(1-2), 9-20.

Year: 
2017
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Background: Cognitive reserve was postulated to explain individual differences in susceptibility to ageing, offering apparent protection to those with higher education. We investigated the association between education and change in memory in early old age. 

Methods: Immediate and delayed memory scores from over 10,000 individuals aged 65 years and older, from 10 countries of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, were modeled as a function of time in the study over an 8-year period, fitting independent latent growth models. Education was used as a marker of cognitive reserve and evaluated in association with memory performance and rate of change, while accounting for income, general health, smoking, body mass index, gender, and baseline age. 

Results: In most countries, more educated individuals performed better on both memory tests at baseline, compared to those less educated. However, education was not protective against faster decline, except for in Spain for both immediate and delayed recall (0.007 [SE = 0.003] and 0.006 [SE = 0.002]), and Switzerland for immediate recall (0.006 [SE = 0.003]). Interestingly, highly educated Italian respondents had slightly faster declines in immediate recall (-0.006 [SE = 0.003]). 

Conclusions: We found weak evidence of a protective effect of education on memory change in most European samples, although there was a positive association with memory performance at individuals' baseline assessment.

Graham et al., 2017. Personality predicts mortality risk: An integrative data analysis of 15 international longitudinal studies

Graham, E.K., Rutsohn, J.P., Turiano, N.A., Bendayan, R., Batterham, P.J., Gerstorf, D., Katz, M.J., Reynolds, C.A., Sharp, E.S., Yoneda, T.B., Bastarache, E.D., Elleman, L.G., Zelinski, E.M., Johansson, B., Kuh, D., Barnes, L.L., Bennett, D.A., Deeg, D.J.H., Lipton, R.B., Pedersen, N.L., Piccinin, A.M., Spiro, A. 3rd, Muniz-Terrera, G., Willis, S.L., Schaie, K.W., Roan, C., Herd, P., Hofer, S.M., & Mroczek, D.K. (2017). Personality Predicts Mortality Risk: An Integrative Data Analysis of 15 International Longitudinal Studies.

Year: 
2017
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

This study examined the Big Five personality traits as predictors of mortality risk, and smoking as a mediator of that association. Replication was built into the fabric of our design: we used a Coordinated Analysis with 15 international datasets, representing 44,094 participants. We found that high neuroticism and low conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness were consistent predictors of mortality across studies. Smoking had a small mediating effect for neuroticism. Country and baseline age explained variation in effects: studies with older baseline age showed a pattern of protective effects (HR < 1.00) for openness, and U.S. studies showed a pattern of protective effects for extraversion. This study demonstrated coordinated analysis as a powerful approach to enhance replicability and reproducibility, especially for aging-related longitudinal research.