Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Existing evidence on profiles of psychological distress across adulthood uses cross-sectional or longitudinal studies with short observation periods. The objective of this research was to study the profile of psychological distress within the same individuals from early adulthood to early old age across three British birth cohorts.<h4>Methods</h4>We used data from three British birth cohorts: born in 1946 (<i>n</i> = 3093), 1958 (<i>n</i> = 13 250) and 1970 (<i>n</i> = 12 019). The profile of psychological distress - expressed both as probability of being a clinical case or a count of symptoms based on comparable items within and across cohorts - was modelled using the multilevel regression framework.<h4>Results</h4>In both 1958 and 1970 cohorts, there was an initial drop in the probability of being a case between ages 23-26 and 33-34. Subsequently, the predicted probability of being a case increased from 12.5% at age 36 to 19.5% at age 53 in the 1946 cohort; from 8.0% at age 33 to 13.7% at age 42 in the 1958 cohort and from 15.7% at age 34 to 19.7% at age 42 in the 1970 cohort. In the 1946 cohort, there was a drop in the probability of caseness between ages 60-64 and 69 (19.5% <i>v.</i> 15.2%). Consistent results were obtained with the continuous version of the outcome.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Across three post-war British birth cohorts midlife appears to be a particularly vulnerable phase for experiencing psychological distress. Understanding the reasons for this will be important for the prevention and management of mental health problems.
Project description:Since estrogen is thought to protect pre-menopausal women from age-related hearing loss, we investigated whether variation in estrogen-signalling genes is linked to hearing status in the 1958 British Birth Cohort. This analysis implicated the estrogen-related receptor gamma (ESRRG) gene in determining adult hearing function and was investigated further in a total of 6134 individuals in 3 independent cohorts: (i) the 1958 British Birth Cohort; (ii) a London ARHL case-control cohort; and (iii) a cohort from isolated populations of Italy and Silk Road countries. Evidence of an association between the minor allele of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2818964 and hearing status was found in females, but not in males in 2 of these cohorts: p = 0.0058 (London ARHL) and p = 0.0065 (Carlantino, Italy). Furthermore, assessment of hearing in Esrrg knock-out mice revealed a mild 25-dB hearing loss at 5 weeks of age. At 12 weeks, average hearing thresholds in female mice((-/-)) were 15 dB worse than in males((-/-)). Together these data indicate ESRRG plays a role in maintenance of hearing in both humans and mice.
Project description:Systematic differences in voter turnout limit the capacity of public institutions to address the needs of under-represented groups. One critical question relates to the role of health as a mechanism driving these inequalities. This study explores the associations of self-rated health (SRH) and limitations in everyday activities with voting over the course of adulthood in the 1958 National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study. We used data from participants who reported voting in the last general election at least once between the ages of 23 and 55 in the 1958 cohort and between the ages of 30 and 42 in the 1970 cohort. We examined associations controlling for a range of early-life and adult circumstances using random-effects models. Compared with those in good or better health: those in fair health had 15% and 18% lower odds of voting in the 1958 and 1970 cohorts; those in poor or worse health had 17% and 32% lower odds of voting in the 1958 and 1970 cohorts. These effects varied with age and were most marked among those in poor health at the ages of 23/30 in the 1958 and 1970 cohorts. Controlling for SRH, having limitations in everyday activities was not associated with voting in main models. Examining age-based differences, however, we found that reporting limitations was associated with a higher probability of voting at the age of 55 in the 1958 cohort and at the age of 30 in the 1970 cohort. Building on the qualities of the British birth cohorts, we offer nuanced evidence about the role of health on voting, which involves considerable life-course processes. Future studies need to examine how these findings progress after the age of 55, extend to mental wellbeing and health practices, and contribute to explain social inequalities in voter turnout.