Among people born at term, low birth weight is associated with early puberty. Early maturation may be on the pathway linking low birth weight with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Subjects born preterm with very low birth weight (VLBW;
Previous studies have suggested a propensity towards morningness in teenagers and adults born preterm. We set out to study sleep in a subsample from The Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults cohort, with emphasis on sleep timing, duration, and quality. We compared young adults who were born prematurely at very low birth weight (VLBW;?
Early life stress (ELS) poses a risk for mental disorders and aging-related diseases. Accelerated biological aging, reflected in shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL), may underlie these risks. We examined whether objectively recorded ELS and retrospectively self-reported traumatic experiences across the lifespan are associated with LTL in later adulthood. Of 1486 participants, 215 had been exposed to ELS, namely to temporary separation from both parents in childhood. Participants self-reported emotionally or physically traumatic experiences across the lifespan at a mean age of 63.2 years. LTL was measured using a quantitative PCR method at a mean age of 61.5 years. Separation or self-reported traumatic experiences were not associated with LTL. However, separated participants who self-reported traumatic experiences had shorter LTL. Our results suggest that while ELS or self-reported traumatic experiences are not per se associated with LTL measured decades later, ELS may in combination with self-reported traumatic events be associated with accelerated biological aging.
FK506-binding protein 51 is involved in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis regulation. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the FKBP5 gene have been shown to interact with retrospectively self-reported early life stress (ELS) in patients with psychiatric disorders. We examined interactions between three selected FKBP5 SNPs and self-reported and objectively recorded ELS in relation to depressive symptoms in midlife.
This study comprised 1431 Helsinki Birth Cohort Study participants genotyped for FKBP5 SNPs shown to alter cortisol metabolism (rs1360780, rs9470080, and rs9394309). Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) at ages 61.5 years (time 1) and 63.4 years (time 2); 165 and 181 participants were separated from their parents in childhood as a result of evacuations during World War II as indicated by self-reports and the Finnish National Archives registry, respectively.
Associations between self-reported and objectively recorded ELS, but not stressful events in midlife, and the mean BDI score (average of time 1 and time 2) or mild to severe BDI scores (10-63 points at time 1 and time 2), or both, were moderated by the FKBP5 variants (p values for interactions .18). Mean BDI scores or odds for having mild to severe BDI scores, or both, increased according to number of minor alleles and haplotypes derived from these alleles in the separated groups, but not in the nonseparated groups.
FKBP5 variations in combination with self-reported and objectively recorded ELS predict more pronounced depressive symptoms in midlife. Our findings confirm previous retrospective findings in a prospective epidemiologic study setting.
Personality traits have been associated with cardiometabolic diseases and mental disorders as well as with longevity. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Accelerated cellular aging may play a role in this process. We studied whether personality traits in late adulthood, as defined in the five-factor model (FFM), were associated with a biomarker of cellular vitality, leukocyte telomere length (LTL).
At a mean age of 63.4 (SD=2.8) years, 1671 (742 men, 929 women) participants from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study filled in the Neuroticism, Extraversion and Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI). LTL was measured at a mean age of 61.5 (SD=2.9) years by using a real-time quantitative PCR method.
None of the FFM personality dimensions were significantly associated with the LTL in the analyses of both sexes combined. We however found interaction between sex and agreeableness (B=0.020, 95% CI=.008, 0.032, p=.001) and in the sex-specific analyses, men who scored higher on agreeableness (B=-0.086, 95% CI=-0.155, -0.016, p=.016) and women who scored lower on agreeableness (B=0.074, 95% CI=0.014, 0.134, p=.016) had shorter LTL.
FFM dimensions of personality were not associated with LTL in a sample of elderly individuals. The counterintuitive and sporadic sex specific finding on agreeableness requires replication. Overall our findings suggest that LTL, a biomarker of cellular aging, may not offer insight into the associations between personality, longevity and health.
Synthetic glucocorticoids, to enhance fetal maturation, are a standard treatment when preterm birth before 34 gestational weeks is imminent. While morbidity- and mortality-related benefits may outweigh potential neurodevelopmental harms in children born preterm (
Circulating amino acids are potential markers of body composition. Previous studies are mainly limited to middle age and focus on either fat or lean mass, thereby ignoring overall body composition. We investigated the associations of fat and lean body mass with circulating amino acids in older men and women. We studied 594 women and 476 men from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (age 62-74 years). Bioelectrical impedance analysis was used to indicate two main body compartments by fat (fat mass/height2) and lean mass indices (lean mass/height2), dichotomized based on sex-specific medians. Eight serum amino acids were quantified using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. General linear models were adjusted for age, smoking, and fasting glucose. Higher lean mass index (LMI) was associated with higher concentrations of branched-chain amino acids in both sexes (p = .001). In men, LMI was also positively associated with tyrosine (p = .006) and inversely with glycine (p
It remains unclear whether it is more detrimental to be born too early or too small in relation to symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Thus, we tested whether preterm birth and small body size at birth adjusted for gestational age are independently associated with symptoms of ADHD in children.
A longitudinal regional birth cohort study comprising 1535 live-born infants between 03/15/1985 and 03/14/1986 admitted to the neonatal wards and 658 randomly recruited non-admitted infants, in Finland. The present study sample comprised 828 children followed up to 56 months. The association between birth status and parent-rated ADHD symptoms of the child was analysed with multiple linear and logistic regression analyses.
Neither prematurity (birth
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The study reports on the associations of infant and childhood anthropometric measurements, early growth, and the combined effect of birth weight and childhood body mass index with older age physical functioning among 1,999 individuals born in 1934-1944 and belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. Physical functioning was assessed by the Short Form 36 scale. Anthropometric data from infancy and childhood were retrieved from medical records. The risk of lower Short Form 36 physical functioning at the mean age of 61.6 years was increased for those with birth weight less than 2.5 kg compared with those weighing 3.0-3.5 kg at birth (odds ratio (OR) = 2.73, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.57, 4.72). The gain in weight from birth to age 2 years was associated with decreased risk of lower physical functioning for a 1-standard deviation increase (OR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.75, 0.94). The risk of lower physical functioning was highest for individuals with birth weight in the lowest third and body mass index at 11 years of age in the highest third compared with those whose birth weight was in the middle third and body mass index at age 11 years was in the highest third (OR = 3.08, 95% CI: 1.83, 5.19). The increasing prevalence of obesity at all ages and the aging of populations warrant closer investigation of the role of weight trajectories in old age functional decline.