TitleIQ in childhood and atherosclerosis in middle-age: 40 Year follow-up of the Newcastle Thousand Families Cohort Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRoberts, BA, Batty, GD, Gale, CR, Deary, IJ, Parker, L, Pearce, MS
Date Published2013 Dec
KeywordsAtherosclerosis, Carotid Intima-Media Thickness, Cognition, Cognition Disorders, Coronary Disease, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Intelligence, Intelligence Tests, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Stroke, United Kingdom

OBJECTIVE: Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is a known precursor to coronary heart disease (CHD) and other relevant health outcomes such as stroke and cognitive impairment. In addition, higher childhood intelligence has been associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease events in later life, although the mechanisms of effect are unclear. We therefore examined the association between childhood intelligence and atherosclerosis using carotid IMT as a marker of the atherosclerotic process.

APPROACH: Participants were 412 members of the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, a prospective cohort study of all 1142 births in the city of Newcastle in May and June 1947, who took an IQ test and English and arithmetic tests at age 11 years. Study members participated in a medical examination and lifestyle assessment at age 49-51 years during which IMT was measured using ultrasound techniques.

RESULTS: Individuals with higher childhood IQ score had a lower mean IMT in middle-age. A standard deviation higher score in childhood overall IQ was associated with a 0.053 mm (95% CI -0.102, -0.004) lower IMT in men and a 0.039 mm (95% CI -0.080, -0.002) lower IMT in women. Similar levels of association were found for the English and arithmetic tests. After adjustment for a range of covariates including education, the size of effect was undiminished in men but increased in women.

CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, higher childhood IQ scores were associated with a lower degree of atherosclerosis by middle-age.

Alternate JournalAtherosclerosis
PubMed ID24267233
PubMed Central IDPMC3918147
Grant ListMC_UP_A620_1015 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_UU_12011/2 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
/ / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
/ / Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council / United Kingdom
MR/K026992/1 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
G0700704 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom