Does IQ predict total and cardiovascular disease mortality as strongly as other risk factors? Comparison of effect estimates using the Vietnam Experience Study

G. D. Batty, M. J. Shipley, C. R. Gale, L. H. Mortensen, I. J. Deary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: To compare the strength of the relation of two measurements of IQ and 11 established risk factors with total and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

Methods: Cohort study of 4166 US male former army personnel with data on IQ test scores (in early adulthood and middle age), a range of established risk factors and 15-year mortality surveillance.

Results: When CVD mortality (n = 61) was the outcome of interest, the relative index of inequality (RII: hazard ratio; 95% CI) for the most disadvantaged relative to the advantaged (in descending order of magnitude of the first six based on age-adjusted analyses) was: 6.58 (2.54 to 17.1) for family income; 5.55 (2.16 to 14.2) for total cholesterol; 5.12 (2.01 to 13.0) for body mass index; 4.70 (1.89 to 11.7) for IQ in middle age; 4.29 (1.70 to 10.8) for blood glucose and 4.08 (1.63 to 10.2) for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the RII for IQ in early adulthood was ranked tenth: 2.88; 1.19 to 6.97). In analyses featuring all deaths (n = 233), the RII for risk factors most strongly related to this outcome was 7.46 (4.54 to 12.3) for family income; 4.41 (2.77 to 7.03) for IQ in middle age; 4.02 (2.37 to 6.83) for smoking; 3.81 (2.35 to 6.17) for educational attainment; 3.40 (2.14 to 5.41) for pulse rate and 3.26 (2.06 to 5.15) for IQ in early adulthood. Multivariable adjustment led to marked attenuation of these relations, particularly those for IQ.

Conclusions: Lower scores on measures of IQ at two time points were associated with CVD and, particularly, total mortality, at a level of magnitude greater than several other established risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1541-1544
Number of pages4
JournalHeart
Volume94
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • CORONARY-HEART-DISEASE
  • LATE ADOLESCENCE/EARLY ADULTHOOD
  • POPULATION-BASED COHORT
  • HEALTH-STATUS
  • MIDDLE-AGE
  • COGNITIVE FUNCTION
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • VETERANS
  • MEN
  • ASSOCIATION

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