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CLOSER November news round-up

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A round up of journal papers and other research published in November using data from CLOSER’s eight longitudinal studies.

The benefits of leisure-time physical activity on cardiovascular disease in later life

Research using data from the 1946 National Survey of Health and Development has been published in the journal, Atherosclerosis. The study examined associations between leisure-time physical activity across adulthood and cardiovascular disease biomarkers at age 60–64. The research team, led by Ahmed Elhakeem (University College London), looked at reports of recreational exercise at ages 36, 43, 53 and 60-64, and examined blood samples taken at age 60-64 for biological signs of cardiovascular disease. The paper reported that the more active a participant was during their adulthood, the healthier their cardiovascular biomarker profile tended to be.

Inflammation markers linked to measures of muscle mass, strength and function

A new paper, published in Calcified Tissue International, uses the Hertfordshire Cohort Study to investigate the relationship between inflammation markers and outcomes relating to the mass, strength and function of muslces in later life. Researchers from the University of Southampton analysed information on men and women aged between 59 – 70 years old. Findings revealed that there is a link between markers of inflammation and walking speed, level and change in grip strength, as well as sarcopenia, which is the gradual loss of muscle mass.

The relationship between childhood symptoms of ADHD and socioeconomic status

New research using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) has examined whether different levels of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during childhood is associated with socioeconomic status, looking specifically at changes in the family’s financial difficulty. The University of Exeter research team analysed information on children’s symptoms of ADHD and parent’s reports of changes in financial difficulty. This was measured using a series of five questions asking the mother to rate the family’s difficulty in affording food, clothes, heating, rent/mortgage and other items considered essential for their child. They found evidence to suggest socioeconomic status may influence the severity of ADHD symptoms. The paper was published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

The link between father and child’s negative thinking styles

Data from ALSPAC has been used to investigate whether fathers’ negative thinking can affect their children’s own thought processes. The research was published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and was carried out by researchers based at University College London and the University of Bristol, including Gemma Lewis and Siying Wen. The team found evidence to suggest there is an association between paternal negative cognitive styles, assessed when mothers were 18 weeks pregnant, and offspring negative cognitive styles 18 years later.

Childhood adversity and teenage obesity

A recent study published in the journal, Obesity has compared data from ALSPAC with the Brazilian study, 1993 Pelotas Cohort. The research team, led by Ana Luiza G. Soares (University of Bristol), aimed to assess the association between childhood adversity and teenage obesity from two cohorts based in countries with contrasting socioeconomic and cultural profiles. It found some evidence of a link between the two in the UK cohort but not in the Brazilian group.

Daily activity of primary school children

Research using the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) Age 7 survey data has investigated the daily physical activity of primary school children. The paper, published in PLOS One, was a collaboration between a team of researchers based at UCL, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of South Carolina. They found that, on average, girls were less active than boys throughout the day, particularly during school break times. They also identified behavioural changes that could help to increase the activity levels of children, such as participation in sport and exercise and walking to and from school.

Housing conditions and birth outcomes

A new article published in Environmental Research looked at the relationship between housing conditions and birthweight of children.The paper, authored by Emily Harville and Felicia Rabito, used data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) Age 33 sweep. They found that womenwho reported having mould in their home, were more likely to give birth to a baby who weighed less than 5.5 lbs.

Childhood vaccination programmes

A new paper published in Vaccine has examined the uptake and timeliness of infant booster vaccines, including MMR and tetanus. Linking MCS age 7 study data to health records, researchers based at UCL and Swansea University found that while 94 per cent of children received the first dose of primary vaccines early, or on time, this was lower for subsequent doses (82% for the second dose and 65% for the third dose).

Depressive symptoms in fathers and children

New research from UCL, Northwestern University, USA and University College Dublin has studied the relationships between the mental health of fathers and their children. Using data from both the MCS Age 7 survey and the Growing up in Ireland cohort study, the paper was published in the Lancet Psychiatry. The results revealed an association between depressive symptoms in fathers and in their adolescent children.