OBJECTIVE. Body image and perceived attractiveness were examined, and the impact of age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) was analyzed and discussed from an evolutionary and a sociocultural perspective. METHOD. The population-based sample consisted of 11,468 Finnish men and women aged 18 to 49 years. RESULTS. Both age-related decrease and increase in body satisfaction was detected as well as interactions between age and gender. Some effects were nonlinear. Women were generally less satisfied with their bodies than men. BMI had a stronger influence on women's body image than men's. DISCUSSION. It was proposed that it is insufficient to merely study how age affects general body image because adults might become more satisfied with some aspects of their bodies as a function of age and less satisfied with other aspects. Body satisfaction might also fluctuate during different phases of the adult life, and the patterns possibly differ between men and women.
Causative gene mutations have been identified in about 2% of those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often, but not always, when there is a strong family history. There is an assumption that there is a genetic component to all ALS, but genome-wide association studies have yet to produce a robustly replicated result. A definitive estimate of ALS heritability is therefore required to determine whether ongoing efforts to find susceptibility genes are worth while.
The authors performed two twin studies, one population- and one clinic-based. The authors used structural equation modelling to perform a meta-analysis of data from these studies and an existing twin study to estimate ALS heritability, and identified 171 twin pairs in which at least one twin had ALS.
Five monozygotic twin pairs were concordant-affected, and 44 discordant-affected. No dizygotic twin pairs were concordant-affected, and 122 discordant-affected. The heritability of sporadic ALS was estimated as 0.61 (0.38 to 0.78) with the unshared environmental component 0.39 (0.22 to 0.62). ALS has a high heritability, and efforts to find causative genes should continue.
Clinically significant anxiety symptoms are prevalent among the elderly, yet knowledge about the longitudinal course of anxiety symptoms in later life remains scarce. The goals of this study were to (a) characterize age trajectories of state anxiety symptoms in the second half of life, and (b) estimate genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in the age trajectory of state anxiety. This study was based on data from 1,482 participants in the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging who were aged 50 and older at their first occasion (512 complete twin pairs, 458 singletons) and had up to 6 measurement occasions spanning 11 years. Consistent with life span developmental theories of age-related emotional change, anxiety symptom levels declined during the transition from midlife to the mid-60s, followed by a mild increase that gradually plateaued in the 80s. There were substantial individual differences in the age trajectory of anxiety. After accounting for effects of sex, cohort, mode of testing, and proximity to death, this longitudinal variation was partitioned into biometric sources. Nonshared environmental variance was highest in the late 60s and declined thereafter, whereas genetic variance increased at an accelerated pace from approximately age 60 onward. There was no evidence for effects of rearing or other shared environment on anxiety symptoms in later life. These findings highlight how the etiology of anxiety symptoms changes from midlife to old age.
Cites: Twin Res Hum Genet. 2007 Jun;10(3):423-3317564500
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Although the ApoE gene has been intensively studied in aging research, most of the studies conducted so far have been based on the traditional case-control design with subjects consisting of young controls and long-lived cases. The genotype frequency pattern in and between the two age-groups has been rarely investigated due to limitations in either research design or data analytical method. In this study, we genotyped 748 individuals (including both twin pairs and unrelated individuals) aged from 73 to 95 with aim at examining the genotype frequency trajectory of ApoE gene at high ages. Binomial and multinomial logistic regression models have been applied to model the gene frequency as a function of age and to investigate the modes of gene function (dominant, recessive, additive). The generalized estimation equations (GEEs) are introduced to account for the intra-pair genotype correlation in the twin pairs included in the data. Both the observed and the fitted frequencies show a constantly declining pattern of ApoE epsilon4 allele as age advances indicating a significant and steadily deleterious effect of the dominant allele that increases the hazard of death at high ages.
We studied the association of adolescent smoking with overweight and abdominal obesity in adulthood.
We used the FinnTwin16, a prospective, population-based questionnaire study of 5 consecutive and complete birth cohorts of Finnish twins born between 1975 and 1979 (N = 4296) and studied at four points between the ages of 16 and 27 years to analyze the effect of adolescent smoking on abdominal obesity and overweight in early adulthood.
Smoking at least 10 cigarettes daily when aged 16 to 18 years increased the risk of adult abdominal obesity (odds ratio [OR]=1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.39, 2.26). After we adjusted for confounders, the OR was 1.44 (95% CI = 1.11, 1.88), and after further adjustment for current body mass index (BMI), the OR was 1.34 (95% CI = 0.95, 1.88). Adolescent smoking significantly increased the risk of becoming overweight among women even after adjustment for possible confounders, including baseline BMI (OR = 1.74; 95% CI = 1.06, 2.88).
Smoking is a risk factor for abdominal obesity among both genders and for overweight in women. The prevention of smoking during adolescence may play an important role in promoting healthy weight and in decreasing the morbidity related to abdominal obesity.
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Binge eating disorder (BED) is a clinical eating disorder that is strongly and bidirectionally related to overweight and obesity. Little is known about how subclinical features of BED relate to weight development in adolescence and young adulthood.
Women (n?=?2825) and men (n?=?2423) from the community-based longitudinal FinnTwin16 cohort participated. Seven eating-related cognitions and behaviors similar to the defining features of BED were extracted from the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 and were assessed at a mean age of 24. We used linear mixed models to assess the association of features of BED with BMI trajectories across four waves of data collection (mean ages 16, 17, 18, and 24).
The number of features of BED at wave 4 (age 24) was significantly associated with BMI from age 16?years onwards. Those reporting more features of BED had gained more weight throughout adolescence and into their twenties.
Features of BED in young adulthood were preceded by steeper BMI trajectories in adolescence. A higher number of features were consistently associated with higher BMI and more weight gain.
The relation between eating disorders and menstrual function has been widely studied, but it is unknown whether the behavior of binge eating itself is related to menstrual dysfunction.
The 11,503 women included in this study were from the Swedish Twin study of Adults: Genes and Environment. The associations between menstrual dysfunction and binge eating were analyzed using logistic regression or multiple linear regression models with generalized estimation equations.
Women who reported lifetime binge eating were more likely to report either amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea than women who reported no binge eating. These results persisted when controlling for compensatory behaviors including self-induced vomiting, laxative use, and diuretic use. No differences between women with and without a history of binge eating were observed for age at menarche.
Even when controlling for the effect of compensatory behaviors, the behavior of binge eating is associated with menstrual dysfunction. Metabolic and endocrinological factors could underlie this association. Careful evaluation of menstrual status is warranted for women with all eating disorders, not just anorexia nervosa.
A correlated frailty model is suggested for analysis of bivariate time-to-event data. The model is an extension of the correlated power variance function (PVF) frailty model (correlated three-parameter frailty model) (J. Epidemiol. Biostat. 1999; 4:53-60). It is based on a bivariate extension of the compound Poisson frailty model in univariate survival analysis (Ann. Appl. Probab. 1992; 4:951-972). It allows for a non-susceptible fraction (of zero frailty) in the population, overcoming the common assumption in survival analysis that all individuals are susceptible to the event under study. The model contains the correlated gamma frailty model and the correlated inverse Gaussian frailty model as special cases. A maximum likelihood estimation procedure for the parameters is presented and its properties are studied in a small simulation study. This model is applied to breast cancer incidence data of Swedish twins. The proportion of women susceptible to breast cancer is estimated to be 15 per cent.
Concentrations of cadmium and lead in blood (BCd and BPb, respectively) are traditionally used as biomarkers of environmental exposure. We estimated the influence of genetic factors on these markers in a cohort of 61 monozygotic and 103 dizygotic twin pairs (mean age = 68 years, range = 49-86). BCd and BPb were determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Variations in both BCd and BPb were influenced by not only environmental but also genetic factors. Interestingly, the genetic influence was considerably greater for nonsmoking women (h(2) = 65% for BCd and 58% for BPb) than for nonsmoking men (13 and 0%, respectively). The shared familial environmental (c(2)) influence for BPb was 37% for men but only 3% for women. The association between BCd and BPb could be attributed entirely to environmental factors of mutual importance for levels of the two metals. Thus, blood metal concentrations in women reflect not only exposure, as previously believed, but to a considerable extent hereditary factors possibly related to uptake and storage. Further steps should focus on identification of these genetic factors and evaluation of whether women are more susceptible to exposure to toxic metals than men.
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The attributable fraction is a widely used measure to quantify the public health impact of an exposure on an outcome. It was originally proposed for binary outcomes, but attributable fraction estimators have also been proposed for time-to-event outcomes. In this note, we consider an estimator which was proposed by Benichou (Stats Methods Med Res, 2001) and is supposed to estimate the cohort attributable fraction, i.e. the number of events that would have been prevented in the cohort during follow-up, if the exposure would hypothetically have been eliminated. We show that this estimator is only valid under certain assumptions, which are often likely to be violated in practice. We further argue that the cohort attributable fraction may not be of substantial scientific interest in the first place. We propose a potentially more relevant measure of attributable fraction in cohort studies; the baseline attributable fraction. We show how the baseline attributable fraction can be conveniently estimated in Cox proportional hazards models.