This study investigates the long-term effects of parental divorce on adolescent psychological adjustment and well-being, and to what extent the effects are accounted for by parental psychological distress. Data were collected among 8,984 Norwegian adolescents (13-19 years) and their parents. Outcome variables were symptoms of anxiety and depression, subjective well-being, and three areas of school problems. Parental divorce was found to be associated with both higher mean levels and larger variances in adolescent problems. Divorce and parental distress contributed independently to adolescent distress, supporting the notion of "double exposure" effects. The prevalence of adolescents with substantial distress symptoms was 14% among those with non-distressed non-divorced parents and 30% among those with divorced and distressed parents. In general effects remained when controlling for demographic factors. Long-term effects of divorce on symptoms of anxiety and depression were stronger among girls than among boys.
**This is a prospective Norwegian study of a group of adolescents with an experience of parental divorce or separation (n=413) and a comparison group without this experience (n=1758). Mean age at T1 was 14.4 years and mean age at T2 was 18.4 years. Parental divorce was prospectively associated with a relative change in anxiety and depression, subjective well-being, self-esteem, and school problems. Considering boys separately, parental divorce was prospectively associated only with school problems. Among the girls, divorce was prospectively associated with all variables. The effect of divorce on relative change was partially mediated by paternal absence.
In the present study, we evaluated whether childhood differences in body height between singletons and twins persist into adulthood. Data from the Medical Birth Register of Norway were linked with data from the Norwegian National Conscript Service. This study used data on the 457,999 males who were born alive and without physical anomalies in single or twin births in Norway during 1967-1984 and who were examined at the mandatory military conscription (age 18-20 years; 1985-2003). For sibling comparisons, the authors selected the 1,721 sibships of full brothers that included at least 1 male born in a single birth and at least 1 male born in a twin birth (4,520 persons, including 2,493 twins and 2,027 singletons). An analysis of the total study population using generalized estimating equations showed that the twins were 0.6 cm (95% confidence interval: 0.4, 0.7) shorter than were the singletons after adjustment for a series of background factors. The fixed-effects regression analysis of the sibships that included both twins and singletons showed that the twins were 0.9 cm (95% confidence interval: 0.6, 1.2) shorter than were their singleton brothers. The study suggests that male twins born in Norway during 1967-1984 were slightly shorter in early adulthood than were singletons.
An inverse relationship between educational level and dementia has been reported in several studies. In this study we investigated the relationship between educational level and dementia related deaths for cohorts of people all born during 1915-39. The cohorts were followed up from adulthood or old age, taking into account possible confounders and mediating paths. Our study population comprised participants in Norwegian health examination studies in the period 1974-2002; The Counties Study and Cohort of Norway (CONOR). Dementia related deaths were defined as deaths with a dementia diagnosis on the death certificate and linked using the Cause of Death Registry to year 2012. The study included 90,843 participants, 2.06 million person years and 2440 dementia related deaths. Cox regression was used to assess the association between education and dementia related deaths. Both high and middle educational levels were associated with lower dementia related death risk compared to those with low education when follow-up started in adulthood (35-49 years, high versus low education: HR=0.68, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.50-0.93; 50-69 years, high versus low education: HR=0.52, 95% CI 0.34-0.80). However, when follow-up started at old age (70-80 years) there was no significant association between education and dementia related death. Restricting the study population to those born during a five-year period 1925-29 (the birth cohort overlapping all three age groups), gave similar main findings. The protective effects found for both high and middle educational level compared to low education were robust to adjustment for cardiovascular health and life style factors, suggesting education to be a protective factor for dementia related death. Both high and middle educational levels were associated with decreased dementia related death risk compared with low educational level when follow-up started in adulthood, but no association was observed when follow-up started at old age.
The relationship between alcohol consumption and dementia risk is unclear. This investigation estimates the association between alcohol consumption reported in a population-based study in the mid-1980s and the risk for dementia up to 27 years later. The entire adult population in one Norwegian county was invited to the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study during 1984-1986 (HUNT1): 88 % participated. The sample used in this study includes HUNT1 participants born between 1905 and 1946 who completed the questionnaire assessing alcohol consumption. A total of 40,435 individuals, of whom 1084 have developed dementia, are included in the analysis adjusted for age, sex, years of education, hypertension, obesity, smoking, and symptoms of depression. When adjusting for age and sex, and compared to reporting consumption of alcohol 1-4 times during the last 14 days (drinking infrequently), both abstaining from alcohol and reporting consumption of alcohol five or more times (drinking frequently) were statistically significantly associated with increased dementia risk with hazard ratios of 1.30 (95 % CI 1.05-1.61) and 1.45 (1.11-1.90), respectively. In the fully adjusted analysis, drinking alcohol frequently was still significantly associated with increased dementia risk with a hazard ratio of 1.40 (1.07-1.84). However, the association between dementia and abstaining from alcohol was no longer significant (1.15, 0.92-1.43). Equivalent results for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia indicated the same patterns of associations. When adjusting for other factors associated with dementia, frequent alcohol drinking, but not abstaining from alcohol, is associated with increased dementia risk compared to drinking alcohol infrequently.
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To investigate to what degree alcohol use and mental distress are associated with non-response in a population-based health study.
From 1995 to 1997, 91,488 persons were invited to take part in a health study at Nord-Trøndelag, Norway, and the response rate was 69.2%. Demographics were available for everyone. Survey answers from a previous survey were available for most of the participants and a majority of non-participants. In addition, the survey responses from spouses and children of the invitees were used to predict participation in the aforementioned study. Crude and adjusted ORs for a number of predictors, among these alcohol consumption and mental distress, are reported.
Both heavy drinkers (OR = 1.27) and abstainers (OR = 1.64) had a higher probability of dropping out in comparison to people who usually do not drink. High levels of mental distress (OR = 1.84) also predicted attrition.
Alcohol use and mental distress are moderately associated with non-response, though probably not a major cause, as controlling for other variables weakened the associations. Nevertheless, the moderate but clear underrepresentation at the crude level of people with high alcohol consumption, abstainers and people with poor mental health should be taken into consideration when interpreting results from health surveys.
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Cites: Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Dec 1;172(11):1306-1420843863
It is a widely held notion that alcohol abuse is related to mental distress in the spouse. Research has substantiated this notion by showing a tendency for spouses of alcohol abusers to experience more mental distress than spouses of non-abusers. However, the picture seems to be more complex, as some results do not show a significant effect or even less mental distress among spouses of alcohol abusers with the highest alcohol consumption. The present study investigates the association between spousal mental distress and both a high consumption of alcohol and having experienced alcohol related problems.
Norwegian population-based questionnaire data from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT 2) were analyzed. In total 11,584 couples were eligible for analysis. Alcohol consumption was measured by numerical indicators of alcohol amount and frequency of drinking, whereas alcohol-related problems (i.e. having been criticized for excessive drinking) were measured by the CAGE Alcohol Screening Questionnaire. Multivariate hierarchical regression analyses were performed.
Results revealed that alcohol consumption was significantly associated with a decrease in spousal mental distress, whereas alcohol-related problems were associated with an increase in spousal mental distress when adjusted for each other. Interaction effects indicated that couples discordant for drinking problems experienced more mental distress than spouses concordant for drinking problems.
The results of our study indicate that alcohol-related problems constitute a clear risk factor for spousal mental distress. On the other hand, a high consumption of alcohol per se was related to lower levels of spousal mental distress, after adjusting for the alcohol-related problems perceived by the alcohol consumer him/herself. All effect sizes were small, but the trends were clear, challenging the notion that a high consumption of alcohol is exclusively and under all circumstances negative for the spouse.
The association between childhood hearing disorders and adult tinnitus has not been examined in longitudinal cohort studies.
To determine the association between different types of childhood hearing loss and tinnitus in adulthood and evaluate whether tinnitus risk is mediated by adult hearing loss.
Population-based cohort study of 32?430 adults (aged 20-56 years) who underwent pure-tone audiometry and completed a tinnitus questionnaire in the Nord-Trøndelag Hearing Loss Study, which was a part of the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study 2 (HUNT2). The study was conducted from January 1, 2014, to April 1, 2015. Data analysis was performed from April 1, 2014, to April 1, 2015. As children, the same individuals had undergone screening audiometry in a longitudinal primary school hearing investigation, including ear, nose, and throat examinations when indicated.
Pure-tone audiometry, questionnaires, and ear, nose, and throat examinations.
Self-reported tinnitus (yes or no) in adulthood measured by questionnaires.
Adults who had hearing loss at the time of the school investigation (n?=?3026) reported more tinnitus, measured as odds ratio (95% CI), than did adults with normal childhood hearing (n?=?29?404) (1.4 [1.3-1.6]). Childhood hearing disorders associated with tinnitus in adulthood included sensorineural hearing loss, chronic suppurative otitis media, and hearing loss associated with a history of recurrent acute otitis media (2.4 [1.9-3.0], 2.4 [1.5-3.9], and 1.6 [1.3-2.0], respectively). These estimates were adjusted for age, sex, and noise exposure in adulthood. After further analyses that included adjustment for adult hearing threshold, none of these childhood hearing disorders remained positively associated with tinnitus.
Childhood hearing disorders associated with tinnitus in adulthood include sensorineural hearing loss, chronic suppurative otitis media, and hearing loss associated with a history of recurrent acute otitis media. After adjustment for the adult hearing threshold, none of the childhood hearing disorders was positively associated with tinnitus. Hence, it appears that these significant associations are mediated or transmitted through adult hearing loss.
It is not fully understood how subjective feelings of psychological distress prognosticate dementia. Our aim was to investigate the association between self-reported psychological distress and risk of dementia-related mortality.
We included 31,043 eligible individuals between the ages of 60 and 80 years, at time of examination, from the CONOR (Cohort of Norway) database. They were followed for a period of 17.4 years (mean 11.5 years). The CONOR Mental Health Index, a seven-item self-report scale was used. A cut-off score equal to or above 2.15 on the scale denoted psychological distress. Cox regression was used to assess the association between psychological distress and risk of dementia-related mortality.
Total number of registered deaths was 11,762 and 1118 (9.5%) were classified as cases of dementia-related mortality. We found that 2501 individuals (8.1%) had psychological distress, of these, 119 (10.6%) had concomitant dementia-related mortality. Individuals with psychological distress had an increased risk of dementia-related mortality HR = 1.52 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-1.85) after adjusting for age, gender and education. The association remained significant although attenuated when implemented in a full adjusted model, including general health status, smoking, obesity, hypertension, diabetes and history of cardiovascular disease; hazard ratio, HR = 1.30 (95% CI 1.06-1.59).
Our results indicate that psychological distress in elderly individuals is associated with increased risk of dementia-related mortality. Individuals at increased risk of dementia may benefit from treatments or interventions that lessen psychological distress, but this needs to be confirmed in future clinical studies.
Some previous studies indicate that parental hearing loss may have negative consequences in the parent-child relationship. However, most of these studies are qualitative or have apparent methodological shortcomings.
This study is the first of its kind conducted in a large population-based sample with audiometrically measured hearing loss aimed at investigating the extent to which parental hearing loss affects adolescents' mental health.
Questionnaires were administered to the adult (>19 years) and adolescent (age 13-19 years) population of Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway (1995-97), which collected information on mental and somatic health, including hearing loss. For adults participating in the study, pure tone audiometry tests were also administered. In total, 4047 fathers and 4785 mothers with self-reported hearing loss data were identified. The corresponding numbers with measured hearing loss data included 4079 fathers and 4861 mothers. The associations between the degrees of self-reported or measured parental hearing loss and the mental health of their adolescent, measured by Hopkins Symptom Check List (SCL) 5, were estimated using generalized estimating equations. After adjusting for several covariates, the mental health symptoms of adolescents were compared by parental hearing loss (i.e., with versus without hearing loss).
Adolescents whose mothers had severe measured or self-reported hearing loss had significantly worse mental health than their counterparts whose mothers did not have a hearing loss. No corresponding effects were found in the adolescents whose mothers had only a slight/moderate hearing loss, neither measured nor self-reported. Paternal slight/moderate self-reported hearing loss was associated with a small significant reduction of mental health in the adolescents, although attenuated when adjusting for paternal distress. No significant effects were detected in the adolescents whose fathers had measured hearing loss.
Severe maternal hearing loss is associated with significantly increased adolescent distress.