Association of history of psychopathology with accelerated aging at midlife

Jasmin Wertz, A. Caspi, A. Ambler, J. Broadbent, R.J. Hancox, H. Harrington, S. Hogan, R.M. Houts, J.H. Leung, R. Poulton, S.C. Purdy, S. Ramrakha, L.J.H. Rasmussen, L.S. Richmond-Rakerd, P.R. Thorne, G.A. Wilson, T.E. Moffitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Importance: Individuals with mental disorders are at an elevated risk of developing chronic age-related physical diseases. However, it is not clear whether psychopathology is also associated with processes of accelerated aging that precede the onset of age-related disease. Objective: To test the hypothesis that a history of psychopathology is associated with indicators of accelerated aging at midlife. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective cohort study was based on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a population-representative birth cohort of 1037 individuals born between April 1, 1972, and March 31, 1973, in Dunedin, New Zealand. Members were followed up to age 45 years (until April 2019). Data were analyzed from January 6 to December 7, 2020. Exposures: Mental disorders were assessed in 6 diagnostic assessments from ages 18 to 45 years and transformed through confirmatory factor analysis into continuous measures of general psychopathology (p-factor) and dimensions of internalizing, externalizing, and thought disorders (all standardized to a mean [SD] of 100 [15]). Main Outcomes and Measures: Signs of aging (biological pace of aging; declines in sensory, motor, and cognitive functioning; and facial age) were assessed up to age 45 years using previously validated measures including biomarkers, clinical tests, and self-reports. Results: Of the original 1037 cohort participants, 997 were still alive at age 45 years, of whom 938 (94%) were assessed (474 men [50.5%]). Participants who had experienced more psychopathology exhibited a faster pace of biological aging (β, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.21-0.33; P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-539
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of history of psychopathology with accelerated aging at midlife'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this