PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (84)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
more »
Year of Publication
1.  Glycemia, Insulin Resistance, Insulin Secretion, and Risk of Depressive Symptoms in Middle Age 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(4):928-934.
OBJECTIVE
The extent to which abnormal glucose metabolism increases the risk of depression remains unclear. In this study, we investigated prospective associations of levels of fasting glucose and fasting insulin and indices of insulin resistance and secretion with subsequent new-onset depressive symptoms (DepS).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In this prospective cohort study of 3,145 adults from the Whitehall II Study (23.5% women, aged 60.6 ± 5.9 years), baseline examination included fasting glucose and insulin level, the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA2-%IR), and the homeostasis model assessment of β-cell insulin secretion (HOMA2-%B). DepS (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale ≥16 or use of antidepressive drugs) were assessed at baseline and at 5-year follow-up.
RESULTS
Over the 5-year follow-up, DepS developed in 142 men and 84 women. Women in the lowest quintile of insulin secretion (HOMA2-%B ≤55.3%) had 2.18 (95% CI 1.25–3.78) times higher odds of developing DepS than those with higher insulin secretion. This association was not accounted for by inflammatory markers, cortisol secretion, or menopausal status and hormone replacement therapy. Fasting insulin measures were not associated with DepS in men, and fasting glucose measures were not associated with new-onset DepS in either sex.
CONCLUSIONS
Low insulin secretion appears to be a risk factor for DepS in middle-aged women, although further work is required to confirm this finding.
doi:10.2337/dc12-0239
PMCID: PMC3609527  PMID: 23230097
2.  Education Modifies the Association of Wealth with Obesity in Women in Middle-Income but Not Low-Income Countries: An Interaction Study Using Seven National Datasets, 2005-2010 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90403.
Background
Education and wealth may have different associations with female obesity but this has not been investigated in detail outside high-income countries. This study examines the separate and inter-related associations of education and household wealth in relation to obesity in women in a representative sample of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Methods
The seven largest national surveys were selected from a list of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) ordered by decreasing sample size and resulted in a range of country income levels. These were nationally representative data of women aged 15–49 years collected in the period 2005–2010. The separate and joint effects, unadjusted and adjusted for age group, parity, and urban/rural residence using a multivariate logistic regression model are presented
Results
In the four middle-income countries (Colombia, Peru, Jordan, and Egypt), an interaction was found between education and wealth on obesity (P-value for interaction <0.001). Among women with no/primary education the wealth effect was positive whereas in the group with higher education it was either absent or inverted (negative). In the poorer countries (India, Nigeria, Benin), there was no evidence of an interaction. Instead, the associations between each of education and wealth with obesity were independent and positive. There was a statistically significant difference between the average interaction estimates for the low-income and middle-income countries (P<0.001).
Conclusions
The findings suggest that education may protect against the obesogenic effects of increased household wealth as countries develop. Further research could examine the factors explaining the country differences in education effects.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090403
PMCID: PMC3946446  PMID: 24608086
3.  Job insecurity and incident coronary heart disease: the Whitehall II prospective cohort study 
Atherosclerosis  2013;227(1):178-181.
Objective
This study uses a prospective design to examine the association between self-reported job insecurity and incident coronary heart disease; an association which has been little investigated previously.
Methods
Participants were 4174 British civil servants (1236 women and 2938 men), aged 42 to 56 with self-reported data on job insecurity and free from coronary heart disease at baseline (1995-6). These participants were followed until 2002-4, an average of 8.6 years, for incident fatal coronary heart disease, clinically verified incident non-fatal myocardial infarction, or definite angina (a total of 168 events).
Results
Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics showed job insecurity to be associated with a 1.42-fold (95% CI, 1.05-1.93) risk of incident coronary heart disease compared with secure employment. Adjustment for physiological and behavioral cardiovascular risk factors had little effect on this estimate; 1.38 (1.01-1.88).
Conclusion
This study suggests that job insecurity may adversely affect coronary health.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.12.027
PMCID: PMC3940189  PMID: 23332775
job insecurity; stress; incident coronary heart disease; angina; middle-aged; prospective
4.  Association Between Questionnaire- and Accelerometer-Assessed Physical Activity: The Role of Sociodemographic Factors 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2014;179(6):781-790.
The correlation between objective and self-reported measures of physical activity varies between studies. We examined this association and whether it differed by demographic factors or socioeconomic status (SES). Data were from 3,975 Whitehall II (United Kingdom, 2012–2013) participants aged 60–83 years, who completed a physical activity questionnaire and wore an accelerometer on their wrist for 9 days. There was a moderate correlation between questionnaire- and accelerometer-assessed physical activity (Spearman's r = 0.33, 95% confidence interval: 0.30, 0.36). The correlations were higher in high-SES groups than in low-SES groups (P 's = 0.02), as defined by education (r = 0.38 vs. r = 0.30) or occupational position (r = 0.37 vs. r = 0.29), but did not differ by age, sex, or marital status. Of the self-reported physical activity, 68.3% came from mild activities, 25% from moderate activities, and only 6.7% from vigorous activities, but their correlations with accelerometer-assessed total physical activity were comparable (range of r 's, 0.21–0.25). Self-reported physical activity from more energetic activities was more strongly associated with accelerometer data (for sports, r = 0.22; for gardening, r = 0.16; for housework, r = 0.09). High-SES persons reported more energetic activities, producing stronger accelerometer associations in these groups. Future studies should identify the aspects of physical activity that are most critical for health; this involves better understanding of the instruments being used.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwt330
PMCID: PMC3939851  PMID: 24500862
accelerometry; cohort studies; elderly; epidemiologic methods; physical activity; questionnaires
5.  Physical activity and inflammatory markers over 10 years follow up in men and women from the Whitehall II cohort study 
Circulation  2012;126(8):928-933.
Background
Inflammatory processes are putative mechanisms underlying the cardio-protective effects of physical activity. An inverse association between physical activity and inflammation has been demonstrated but no long-term prospective data are available. We therefore examined the association between physical activity and inflammatory markers over a 10-year follow-up period.
Methods and Results
Participants were 4289 men and women (mean age 49.2 years) from the Whitehall II cohort study. Self-reported physical activity and inflammatory markers (serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [CRP] and interleukin-6 [IL-6]) were measured at baseline (1991) and follow-up (2002). Forty-nine percent of the participants adhered to standard physical activity recommendations for cardiovascular health (2.5 hours per week moderate to vigorous physical activity) across all assessments. Physically active participants at baseline had lower CRP and IL6 levels and this difference remained stable over time. In comparison to participants that rarely adhered to physical activity guidelines over the 10 years follow-up, the high adherence group displayed lower logeCRP (β=−0.07, 95% CI, −0.12, −0.02) and logeIL-6 (β=−0.07, 95% CI, −0.10, −0.03) at follow up after adjustment for a range of covariates. Compared to participants that remained stable, those that reported an increase in physical activity of at least 2.5 hours/wk displayed lower loge CRP (B coefficient =−0.05, 95% CI, −0.10, −0.001) and loge IL-6 (B coefficient =−0.06, 95% CI, −0.09, −0.03) at follow up.
Conclusions
Regular physical activity is associated with lower markers of inflammation over 10 years of follow-up and thus may be important in preventing the pro-inflammatory state seen with ageing.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.103879
PMCID: PMC3890998  PMID: 22891048
Ageing; C-reactive protein; exercise; physical activity; inflammation
6.  Adiponectin Trajectories Before Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(12):2540-2547.
OBJECTIVE
The role of adiponectin in the natural history of diabetes is not well characterized. We set out to characterize prediagnosis trajectories of adiponectin in individuals who develop type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In a case-cohort study (335 incident diabetes case and 2,474 noncase subjects) nested in the Whitehall II study, serum adiponectin was measured up to three times per participant (1991–1993, 1997–1999, and 2003–2004). Multilevel models adjusted for age and ethnicity were fitted to assess 13-year trajectories of log-transformed adiponectin preceding diabetes diagnosis or a randomly selected time point during follow-up (year0) based on 755/5,095 (case/noncase) person-examinations.
RESULTS
Adiponectin levels were lower in diabetes case than in noncase subjects (median 7,141 [interquartile range 5,187–10,304] vs. 8,818 [6,535–12,369] ng/mL at baseline, P < 0.0001). Control subjects showed a modest decline in adiponectin throughout follow-up (0.3% per year, P < 0.0001) at higher levels in women than in men (difference at year0: 5,358 ng/mL, P < 0.0001). Female case and early-onset case (age at diagnosis <52 years) subjects had a steeper decline than control subjects (slope difference −1.1% per year, P = 0.001 in females, −1.6% per year in early-onset case subjects, P = 0.034). In men, adiponectin slopes for case and noncase subjects were parallel. The slope differences by diabetes onset were largely attenuated after adjustment for changes in obesity, whereas the sex-specific slope differences were independent of obesity.
CONCLUSIONS
Lower adiponectin levels were observed already a decade before the diagnosis of diabetes. The marked sex difference in trajectories suggests that sex-specific mechanisms affect the association between adiponectin levels and diabetes development.
doi:10.2337/dc11-2263
PMCID: PMC3507593  PMID: 22933430
7.  Work Characteristics and Personal Social Support as Determinants of Subjective Well-Being 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e81115.
Background
Well-being is an important health outcome and a potential national indicator of policy success. There is a need for longitudinal epidemiological surveys to understand determinants of well-being. This study examines the role of personal social support and psychosocial work environment as predictors of well-being in an occupational cohort study.
Methods
Social support and work characteristics were measured by questionnaire in 5182 United Kingdom civil servants from phase 1 of the Whitehall II study and were used to predict subjective well-being assessed using the Affect Balance Scale (range -15 to 15, SD = 4.2) at phase 2. External assessments of job control and demands were provided by personnel managers.
Results
Higher levels of well-being were predicted by high levels of confiding/emotional support (difference in mean from the reference group with low levels of confiding/emotional support  =  0.63, 95%CI 0.38–0.89, ptrend<0.001), high control at work (0.57, 95%CI 0.31–0.83, ptrend<0.001; reference low control) and low levels of job strain (0.60, 95%CI 0.31–0.88; reference high job strain), after adjusting for a range of confounding factors and affect balance score at baseline. Higher externally assessed work pace was also associated with greater well-being.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that the psychosocial work environment and personal relationships have independent effects on subjective well-being. Policies designed to increase national well-being should take account of the quality of working conditions and factors that facilitate positive personal relationships. Policies designed to improve workplaces should focus not only on minimising negative aspects of work but also on increasing the positive aspects of work.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081115
PMCID: PMC3834222  PMID: 24260545
8.  Chronic inflammation as a determinant of future aging phenotypes  
Background:
The importance of chronic inflammation as a determinant of aging phenotypes may have been underestimated in previous studies that used a single measurement of inflammatory markers. We assessed inflammatory markers twice over a 5-year exposure period to examine the association between chronic inflammation and future aging phenotypes in a large population of men and women.
Methods:
We obtained data for 3044 middle-aged adults (28.2% women) who were participating in the Whitehall II study and had no history of stroke, myocardial infarction or cancer at our study’s baseline (1997–1999). Interleukin-6 was measured at baseline and 5 years earlier. Cause-specific mortality, chronic disease and functioning were ascertained from hospital data, register linkage and clinical examinations. We used these data to create 4 aging phenotypes at the 10-year follow-up (2007–2009): successful aging (free of major chronic disease and with optimal physical, mental and cognitive functioning), incident fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease, death from noncardiovascular causes and normal aging (all other participants).
Results:
Of the 3044 participants, 721 (23.7%) met the criteria for successful aging at the 10-year follow-up, 321 (10.6%) had cardiovascular disease events, 147 (4.8%) died from noncardiovascular causes, and the remaining 1855 (60.9%) were included in the normal aging phenotype. After adjustment for potential confounders, having a high interleukin-6 level (> 2.0 ng/L) twice over the 5-year exposure period nearly halved the odds of successful aging at the 10-year follow-up (odds ratio [OR] 0.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.38–0.74) and increased the risk of future cardiovascular events (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.15–2.33) and noncardiovascular death (OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.58–3.80).
Interpretation:
Chronic inflammation, as ascertained by repeat measurements, was associated with a range of unhealthy aging phenotypes and a decreased likelihood of successful aging. Our results suggest that assessing long-term chronic inflammation by repeat measurement of interleukin-6 has the potential to guide clinical practice.
doi: 10.1503/cmaj.122072
PMCID: PMC3826354  PMID: 24043651
9.  Diabetes Risk Factors, Diabetes Risk Algorithms, and the Prediction of Future Frailty: The Whitehall II Prospective Cohort Study 
Objective
To examine whether established diabetes risk factors and diabetes risk algorithms are associated with future frailty.
Design
Prospective cohort study. Risk algorithms at baseline (1997–1999) were the Framingham Offspring, Cambridge, and Finnish diabetes risk scores.
Setting
Civil service departments in London, United Kingdom.
Participants
There were 2707 participants (72% men) aged 45 to 69 years at baseline assessment and free of diabetes.
Measurements
Risk factors (age, sex, family history of diabetes, body mass index, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, antihypertensive and corticosteroid treatments, history of high blood glucose, smoking status, physical activity, consumption of fruits and vegetables, fasting glucose, HDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides) were used to construct the risk algorithms. Frailty, assessed during a resurvey in 2007–2009, was denoted by the presence of 3 or more of the following indicators: self-reported exhaustion, low physical activity, slow walking speed, low grip strength, and weight loss; “prefrailty” was defined as having 2 or fewer of these indicators.
Results
After a mean follow-up of 10.5 years, 2.8% of the sample was classified as frail and 37.5% as prefrail. Increased age, being female, stopping smoking, low physical activity, and not having a daily consumption of fruits and vegetables were each associated with frailty or prefrailty. The Cambridge and Finnish diabetes risk scores were associated with frailty/prefrailty with odds ratios per 1 SD increase (disadvantage) in score of 1.18 (95% confidence interval: 1.09–1.27) and 1.27 (1.17–1.37), respectively.
Conclusion
Selected diabetes risk factors and risk scores are associated with subsequent frailty. Risk scores may have utility for frailty prediction in clinical practice.
doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2013.08.016
PMCID: PMC3820037  PMID: 24103860
Aging; frailty; diabetes risk scores; diabetes risk factors
10.  Education is associated with lower levels of abdominal obesity in women with a non-agricultural occupation: an interaction study using China’s four provinces survey 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:769.
Background
The prevalence of obesity is increasing rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as their populations become exposed to obesogenic environments. The transition from an agrarian to an industrial and service-based economy results in important lifestyle changes. Yet different socioeconomic groups may experience and respond to these changes differently. Investigating the socioeconomic distribution of obesity in LMICs is key to understanding the causes of obesity but the field is limited by the scarcity of data and a uni-dimensional approach to socioeconomic status (SES). This study splits socioeconomic status into two dimensions to investigate how educated women may have lower levels of obesity in a context where labour market opportunities have shifted away from agriculture to other forms of employment.
Methods
The Four Provinces Study in China 2008/09 is a household-based community survey of 4,314 people aged ≥60  years (2,465 women). It was used to investigate an interaction between education (none/any) and occupation (agricultural/non-agricultural) on high-risk central obesity defined as a waist circumference ≥80 cm. An interaction term between education and occupation was incorporated in a multivariate logistic regression model, and the estimates adjusted for age, parity, urban/rural residence and health behaviours (smoking, alcohol, meat and fruit & vegetable consumption). Complete case analyses were undertaken and results confirmed using multiple imputation to impute missing data.
Results
An interaction between occupation and education was present (P = 0.02). In the group with no education, the odds of central obesity in the sedentary occupation group were more than double those of the agricultural occupation group even after taking age group and parity into account (OR; 95%CI: 2.21; 1.52, 3.21), while in the group with any education there was no evidence of such a relationship (OR; 95%CI: 1.25; 0.92, 1.70). Health behaviours appeared to account for some of the association.
Conclusion
These findings suggest that education may have a protective role in women against the higher odds of obesity associated with occupational shifts in middle-income countries, and that investment in women’s education may present an important long term investment in obesity prevention. Further research could elucidate the mechanisms behind this association.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-769
PMCID: PMC3844357  PMID: 23962144
Socioeconomic status; Obesity; Low- and middle-income countries; Epidemiology; Women; China; Education; Occupation; Waist circumference; Transition
11.  Vascular Risk Status as a Predictor of Later-life Depressive Symptoms: A Cohort Study 
Biological psychiatry  2012;72(4):324-330.
BACKGROUND
Common etiology of vascular diseases and later-life depression may provide important synergies for prevention. We examined whether standard clinical risk profiles developed for vascular diseases also predict depressive symptoms in older adults.
METHODS
Data were drawn from the Whitehall II cohort study with baseline examination in 1991/93, follow-up screenings in 1997/99, 2003/04 and 2008/09, and additional disease ascertainment from hospital data and registry linkage, on 5318 participants (mean age 54.8 years, 31% women) without depressive symptoms at baseline. Vascular risk was assessed with the Framingham Cardiovascular, Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke Risk Scores. New depressive symptoms at each follow-up screening were identified by General Health Questionnaire caseness, a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) score ≥ 16, and use of antidepressant medication.
RESULTS
Diagnosed vascular disease (that is, coronary heart disease or stroke) was associated with an increased risk for depressive symptoms, age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios from 1.5 (95% confidence interval 1.0–2.2) to 2.0 (1.4–3.0) depending on the indicator of depressive symptoms. Among participants without manifest vascular disease at baseline, the Stroke Risk Score was associated with CES-D depressive symptoms before age 65 [age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio per 10% absolute change in the score =3.1 (1.5–6.5)], but none of the risk scores predicted new-onset depressive symptoms in those aged ≥ 65 (odds ratios from 0.8 to 1.2).
CONCLUSIONS
These data suggest that public health measures to improve vascular risk status will influence the incidence of later-life depressive symptoms via reduced rates of manifest vascular disease.
doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.02.005
PMCID: PMC3539141  PMID: 22425413
Depressive symptoms; vascular depression; late-onset depression; cardiovascular risk factors; risk prediction; aging
12.  Association of Lifecourse Socioeconomic Status with Chronic Inflammation and Type 2 Diabetes Risk: The Whitehall II Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001479.
Silvia Stringhini and colleagues followed a group of British civil servants over 18 years to look for links between socioeconomic status and health.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Socioeconomic adversity in early life has been hypothesized to “program” a vulnerable phenotype with exaggerated inflammatory responses, so increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood. The aim of this study is to test this hypothesis by assessing the extent to which the association between lifecourse socioeconomic status and type 2 diabetes incidence is explained by chronic inflammation.
Methods and Findings
We use data from the British Whitehall II study, a prospective occupational cohort of adults established in 1985. The inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 were measured repeatedly and type 2 diabetes incidence (new cases) was monitored over an 18-year follow-up (from 1991–1993 until 2007–2009). Our analytical sample consisted of 6,387 non-diabetic participants (1,818 women), of whom 731 (207 women) developed type 2 diabetes over the follow-up. Cumulative exposure to low socioeconomic status from childhood to middle age was associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.96, 95% confidence interval: 1.48–2.58 for low cumulative lifecourse socioeconomic score and HR = 1.55, 95% confidence interval: 1.26–1.91 for low-low socioeconomic trajectory). 25% of the excess risk associated with cumulative socioeconomic adversity across the lifecourse and 32% of the excess risk associated with low-low socioeconomic trajectory was attributable to chronically elevated inflammation (95% confidence intervals 16%–58%).
Conclusions
In the present study, chronic inflammation explained a substantial part of the association between lifecourse socioeconomic disadvantage and type 2 diabetes. Further studies should be performed to confirm these findings in population-based samples, as the Whitehall II cohort is not representative of the general population, and to examine the extent to which social inequalities attributable to chronic inflammation are reversible.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 350 million people have diabetes, a metabolic disorder characterized by high amounts of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest form of diabetes) blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing sugar from the blood become insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called adult-onset diabetes, can be controlled with diet and exercise, and with drugs that help the pancreas make more insulin or that make cells more sensitive to insulin. However, as the disease progresses, the pancreatic beta cells, which make insulin, become impaired and patients may eventually need insulin injections. Long-term complications, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Socioeconomic adversity in childhood seems to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes but why? One possibility is that chronic inflammation mediates the association between socioeconomic adversity and type 2 diabetes. Inflammation, which is the body's normal response to injury and disease, affects insulin signaling and increases beta-cell death, and markers of inflammation such as raised blood levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 are associated with future diabetes risk. Notably, socioeconomic adversity in early life leads to exaggerated inflammatory responses later in life and people exposed to social adversity in adulthood show greater levels of inflammation than people with a higher socioeconomic status. In this prospective cohort study (an investigation that records the baseline characteristics of a group of people and then follows them to see who develops specific conditions), the researchers test the hypothesis that chronically increased inflammatory activity in individuals exposed to socioeconomic adversity over their lifetime may partly mediate the association between socioeconomic status over the lifecourse and future type 2 diabetes risk.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
To assess the extent to which chronic inflammation explains the association between lifecourse socioeconomic status and type 2 diabetes incidence (new cases), the researchers used data from the Whitehall II study, a prospective occupational cohort study initiated in 1985 to investigate the mechanisms underlying previously observed socioeconomic inequalities in disease. Whitehall II enrolled more than 10,000 London-based government employees ranging from clerical/support staff to administrative officials and monitored inflammatory marker levels and type 2 diabetes incidence in the study participants from 1991–1993 until 2007–2009. Of 6,387 participants who were not diabetic in 1991–1993, 731 developed diabetes during the 18-year follow-up. Compared to participants with the highest cumulative lifecourse socioeconomic score (calculated using information on father's occupational position and the participant's educational attainment and occupational position), participants with the lowest score had almost double the risk of developing diabetes during follow-up. Low lifetime socioeconomic status trajectories (being socially downwardly mobile or starting and ending with a low socioeconomic status) were also associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes in adulthood. A quarter of the excess risk associated with cumulative socioeconomic adversity and nearly a third of the excess risk associated with low socioeconomic trajectory was attributable to chronically increased inflammation.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show a robust association between adverse socioeconomic circumstances over the lifecourse of the Whitehall II study participants and the risk of type 2 diabetes and suggest that chronic inflammation explains up to a third of this association. The accuracy of these findings may be affected by the measures of socioeconomic status used in the study. Moreover, because the study participants were from an occupational cohort, these findings need to be confirmed in a general population. Studies are also needed to examine the extent to which social inequalities in diabetes risk that are attributable to chronic inflammation are reversible. Importantly, if future studies confirm and extend the findings reported here, it might be possible to reduce the social inequalities in type 2 diabetes by promoting interventions designed to reduce inflammation, including weight management, physical activity, and smoking cessation programs and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, among socially disadvantaged groups.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001479.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals, and the general public, including information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes; it includes peoples stories about diabetes
The nonprofit Diabetes UK also provides detailed information about diabetes for patients and carers, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes, and has a further selection of stories from people with diabetes; the nonprofit Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes (in English and Spanish)
Information about the Whitehall II study is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001479
PMCID: PMC3699448  PMID: 23843750
13.  Does Overall Diet in Midlife Predict Future Aging Phenotypes? A Cohort Study 
The American Journal of Medicine  2013;126(5):411-419.e3.
Background
The impact of diet on specific age-related diseases has been studied extensively, but few investigations have adopted a more holistic approach to determine the association of diet with overall health at older ages. We examined whether diet, assessed in midlife, using dietary patterns and adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), is associated with aging phenotypes, identified after a mean 16-year follow-up.
Methods
Data were drawn from the Whitehall II cohort study of 5350 adults (age 51.3 ± 5.3 years, 29.4% women). Diet was assessed at baseline (1991-1993). Mortality, chronic diseases, and functioning were ascertained from hospital data, register linkage, and screenings every 5 years and were used to create 5 outcomes at follow-up: ideal aging (free of chronic conditions and high performance in physical, mental, and cognitive functioning tests; 4%), nonfatal cardiovascular event (7.3%), cardiovascular death (2.8%), noncardiovascular death (12.7%), and normal aging (73.2%).
Results
Low adherence to the AHEI was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and noncardiovascular death. In addition, participants with a “Western-type” diet (characterized by high intakes of fried and sweet food, processed food and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products) had lower odds of ideal aging (odds ratio for top vs bottom tertile: 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.36-0.94; P = .02), independently of other health behaviors.
Conclusions
By considering healthy aging as a composite of cardiovascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal, respiratory, mental, and cognitive function, the present study offers a new perspective on the impact of diet on aging phenotypes.
doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2012.10.028
PMCID: PMC3743043  PMID: 23582933
Aging; Cognitive functioning; Dietary patterns; Diet quality indices; Mortality; Nutritional epidemiology; Overall diet; Physical functioning
14.  Predicting cognitive decline 
Neurology  2013;80(14):1300-1306.
Objective:
Our aim was to compare 2 Framingham vascular risk scores with a dementia risk score in relation to 10-year cognitive decline in late middle age.
Methods:
Participants were men and women with mean age of 55.6 years at baseline, from the Whitehall II study, a longitudinal British cohort study. We compared the Framingham general cardiovascular disease risk score and the Framingham stroke risk score with the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) risk score that uses risk factors in midlife to estimate risk of late-life dementia. Cognitive tests included reasoning, memory, verbal fluency, vocabulary, and global cognition, assessed 3 times over 10 years.
Results:
Higher cardiovascular disease risk and higher stroke risk were associated with greater cognitive decline in all tests except memory; higher dementia risk was associated with greater decline in reasoning, vocabulary, and global cognitive scores. Compared with the dementia risk score, cardiovascular and stroke risk scores showed slightly stronger associations with 10-year cognitive decline; these differences were statistically significant for semantic fluency and global cognitive scores. For example, cardiovascular disease risk was associated with −0.06 SD (95% confidence interval [CI] = −0.08, −0.05) decline in the global cognitive scores over 10 years whereas dementia risk was associated with −0.03 SD (95% CI = −0.04, −0.01) decline (difference in β coefficients = 0.03; 95% CI = 0.01, 0.05).
Conclusions:
The CAIDE dementia and Framingham risk scores predict cognitive decline in late middle age but the Framingham risk scores may have an advantage over the dementia risk score for use in primary prevention for assessing risk of cognitive decline and targeting of modifiable risk factors.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31828ab370
PMCID: PMC3656460  PMID: 23547265
16.  Adherence to healthy dietary guidelines and future depressive symptoms: evidence for sex differentials in the Whitehall II study1234 
Background: It has been suggested that dietary patterns are associated with future risk of depressive symptoms. However, there is a paucity of prospective data that have examined the temporality of this relation.
Objective: We examined whether adherence to a healthy diet, as defined by using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), was prospectively associated with depressive symptoms assessed over a 5-y period.
Design: Analyses were based on 4215 participants in the Whitehall II Study. AHEI scores were computed in 1991–1993 and 2003–2004. Recurrent depressive symptoms were defined as having a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score ≥16 or self-reported use of antidepressants in 2003–2004 and 2008–2009.
Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, the AHEI score was inversely associated with recurrent depressive symptoms in a dose-response fashion in women (P-trend < 0.001; for 1 SD in AHEI score; OR: 0.59; 95% CI: 0.47, 0.75) but not in men. Women who maintained high AHEI scores or improved their scores during the 10-y measurement period had 65% (OR: 0.35%; 95% CI: 0.19%, 0.64%) and 68% (OR: 0.32%; 95% CI: 0.13%, 0.78%) lower odds of subsequent recurrent depressive symptoms than did women who maintained low AHEI scores. Among AHEI components, vegetable, fruit, trans fat, and the ratio of polyunsaturated fat to saturated fat components were associated with recurrent depressive symptoms in women.
Conclusion: In the current study, there was a suggestion that poor diet is a risk factor for future depression in women.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.041582
PMCID: PMC3545684  PMID: 23283506
17.  Job Strain and the Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Individual-Participant Meta-Analysis of 95 000 Men and Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88711.
Background and Aims
Many clinicians, patients and patient advocacy groups believe stress to have a causal role in inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. However, this is not corroborated by clear epidemiological research evidence. We investigated the association between work-related stress and incident Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis using individual-level data from 95 000 European adults.
Methods
We conducted individual-participant data meta-analyses in a set of pooled data from 11 prospective European studies. All studies are a part of the IPD-Work Consortium. Work-related psychosocial stress was operationalised as job strain (a combination of high demands and low control at work) and was self-reported at baseline. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis were ascertained from national hospitalisation and drug reimbursement registers. The associations between job strain and inflammatory bowel disease outcomes were modelled using Cox proportional hazards regression. The study-specific results were combined in random effects meta-analyses.
Results
Of the 95 379 participants who were free of inflammatory bowel disease at baseline, 111 men and women developed Crohn's disease and 414 developed ulcerative colitis during follow-up. Job strain at baseline was not associated with incident Crohn's disease (multivariable-adjusted random effects hazard ratio: 0.83, 95% confidence interval: 0.48, 1.43) or ulcerative colitis (hazard ratio: 1.06, 95% CI: 0.76, 1.48). There was negligible heterogeneity among the study-specific associations.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that job strain, an indicator of work-related stress, is not a major risk factor for Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088711
PMCID: PMC3928274  PMID: 24558416
20.  Combined Effects of Depressive Symptoms and Resting Heart Rate on Mortality: The Whitehall II Prospective Cohort Study 
The Journal of clinical psychiatry  2010;72(9):1199-1206.
Objective
To examine the combined effects of depressive symptoms and resting heart rate (RHR) on mortality.
Methods
Data come from 5936 participants, aged 61 ± 6 years, from the Whitehall II study. Depressive symptoms were assessed in 2002–2004 using the center-for-epidemiologic-studies-depression-scale (score ≥ 16). RHR was measured at the same study phase via electrocardiogram. Participants were assigned to 1 of 6 risk-factor-groups based on depression status (yes/no) and RHR categories (<60, 60 – 80, >80 bpm). Mean follow-up for mortality was 5.6 years.
Results
In mutually adjusted Cox regression models, depression (hazard ratio = 1.93 p<0.001) and RHR>80 bpm (hazard ratio = 1.67, p<0.001) were independent predictors of mortality. After adjustment for potential confounding and mediating variables, participants with both depression and high RHR had a 3.0-fold higher (p<0.001) risk of death compared to depression-free participants with RHR ranging from 60 to 80 bpm. This risk is particularly marked in participants with prevalent CHD.
Conclusions
This study provides evidence that the coexistence of depressive symptoms and elevated RHR is associated with substantially increased risk of death compared to those without these two factors. This finding raises the possibility that treatments that improve both depression and RHR might improve survival.
doi:10.4088/JCP.09m05901blu
PMCID: PMC3226937  PMID: 21208592
depression; resting heart rate and mortality
21.  Vascular Risk Status as a Predictor of Later-Life Depressive Symptoms: A Cohort Study 
Biological Psychiatry  2012;72(4):324-330.
Background
Common etiology of vascular diseases and later-life depression may provide important synergies for prevention. We examined whether standard clinical risk profiles developed for vascular diseases also predict depressive symptoms in older adults.
Methods
Data were drawn from the Whitehall II study with baseline examination in 1991; follow-up screenings in 1997, 2003, and 2008; and additional disease ascertainment from hospital data and registry linkage on 5318 participants (mean age 54.8 years, 31% women) without depressive symptoms at baseline. Vascular risk was assessed with the Framingham Cardiovascular, Coronary Heart Disease, and Stroke Risk Scores. New depressive symptoms at each follow-up screening were identified by General Health Questionnaire caseness, a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score ≥16, and use of antidepressant medication.
Results
Diagnosed vascular disease (that is, coronary heart disease or stroke) was associated with an increased risk for depressive symptoms, age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios from 1.5 (95% confidence interval 1.0–2.2) to 2.0 (1.4–3.0), depending on the indicator of depressive symptoms. Among participants without manifest vascular disease, the Stroke Risk Score was associated with Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale depressive symptoms before age 65 (age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio per 10% absolute change in the score = 3.1 [1.5–6.5]), but none of the risk scores predicted new-onset depressive symptoms in those aged ≥65 (odds ratios from .8 to 1.2).
Conclusions
These data suggest that public health measures to improve vascular risk status will influence the incidence of later-life depressive symptoms via reduced rates of manifest vascular disease.
doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.02.005
PMCID: PMC3539141  PMID: 22425413
Aging; cardiovascular risk factors; depressive symptoms; late-onset depression; risk prediction; vascular depression
22.  Validating a widely used measure of frailty: are all sub-components necessary? Evidence from the Whitehall II cohort study 
Age  2012;35(4):1457-1465.
There is growing interest in the measurement of frailty in older age. The most widely used measure (Fried) characterizes this syndrome using five components: exhaustion, physical activity, walking speed, grip strength, and weight loss. These components overlap, raising the possibility of using fewer, and therefore making the device more time- and cost-efficient. The analytic sample was 5,169 individuals (1,419 women) from the British Whitehall II cohort study, aged 55 to 79 years in 2007–2009. Hospitalization data were accessed through English national records (mean follow-up 15.2 months). Age- and sex-adjusted Cox models showed that all components were significantly associated with hospitalization, the hazard ratios (HR) ranging from 1.18 (95 % confidence interval = 0.98, 1.41) for grip strength to 1.60 (1.35, 1.90) for usual walking speed. Some attenuation of these effects was apparent following mutual adjustment for frailty components, but the rank order of the strength of association remained unchanged. We observed a dose–response relationship between the number of frailty components and the risk for hospitalization [1 component—HR = 1.10 (0.96, 1.26); 2—HR = 1.52 (1.26, 1.83); 3–5—HR = 2.41 (1.84, 3.16), P trend <0.0001]. A concordance index used to evaluate the predictive power for hospital admissions of individual components and the full scale was modest in magnitude (range 0.57 to 0.58). Our results support the validity of the multi-component frailty measure, but the predictive performance of the measure is poor.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-012-9446-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11357-012-9446-2
PMCID: PMC3705104  PMID: 22772579
Frail elderly; Frailty; Validation; Prediction; Cohort study; Hospitalization
23.  Interaction between Education and Household Wealth on the Risk of Obesity in Women in Egypt 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39507.
Background
Obesity is a growing problem in lower income countries particularly among women. There are few studies exploring individual socioeconomic status indicators in depth. This study examines the interaction of education and wealth in relation to obesity, hypothesising that education protects against the obesogenic effect of wealth.
Methods
Four datasets of women of reproductive age from the Egyptian Demographic and Health Surveys spanning the period 1992–2008 are used to examine two distinct time periods: 1992/95 (N = 11097) and 2005/08 (N = 23178). The association in the two time periods between education level and household wealth in relation to the odds of being obese is examined, and the interaction between the two socioeconomic indicators investigated. Estimates are adjusted for age group and area of residence.
Results
An interaction was found between the association of education and wealth with obesity in both time periods (P-value for interaction <0.001). For women with the lowest education level, moving up one wealth quintile was associated with a 78% increase in the odds of obesity in 1992/95 (OR; 95%CI: 1.78; 1.65,1.91) and a 33% increase in 2005/08 (OR; 95%CI: 1.33; 1.26,1.39). For women with the highest level of education, there was little evidence of an association between wealth and obesity (OR; 95%CI: 0.82; 0.57,1.16 in 1992/95 and 0.95; 0.84,1.08 in 2005/08). Obesity levels increased most in women who were in the no/primary education, poorest wealth quintile and rural groups (absolute difference in prevalence percentage points between the two time periods: 20.2, 20.1, and 21.3 respectively).
Conclusion
In the present study, wealth appears to be a risk factor for obesity in women with lower education levels, while women with higher education are protected. The findings also suggest that a reversal in the social distribution of obesity risk is occurring which can be explained by the large increase in obesity levels in lower socioeconomic groups between the two time periods.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039507
PMCID: PMC3384649  PMID: 22761807
24.  Vitamin C intake from diary recordings and risk of breast cancer in the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium 
Background/objectives
Vitamin C intake has been inversely associated with breast cancer risk in case-control studies, but not in meta-analyses of cohort studies using Food Frequency Questionnaires, which can over-report fruit and vegetable intake, the main source of vitamin C. This is the first study to investigate associations between vitamin C intake and breast cancer risk using food diaries.
Subjects/Methods
Estimated dietary vitamin C intake was derived from four to seven day food diaries pooled from five prospective studies in the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium. This nested case-control study of 707 incident breast cancer cases and 2144 matched controls examined breast cancer risk in relation to dietary vitamin C intake using conditional logistic regression adjusting for relevant covariates. Additionally, total vitamin C intake from supplements and diet was analysed in three cohorts.
Results
No evidence of associations were observed between breast cancer risk and vitamin C intake analysed for dietary vitamin C intake (OR = 0.98 per 60mg/d, 95%CI: 0.88 to 1.09, Ptrend = 0.7), dietary vitamin C density (OR = 0.97 per 60mg/d, 95% CI: 0.87 to 1.07, Ptrend = 0.5) or total vitamin C intake (OR = 1.01 per 60mg/d, 95%CI: 0.99 to 1.03, Ptrend = 0.3). Additionally, there was no significant association for post-menopausal women (OR = 1.02 per 60mg/d, 95%CI: 0.99 to 1.05, Ptrend = 0.3).
Conclusions
This pooled analysis of individual UK women found no evidence of significant associations between breast cancer incidence and dietary or total vitamin C intake derived uniquely from detailed diary recordings.
doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.197
PMCID: PMC3378489  PMID: 22127331
Breast cancer; Vitamin C; cohort studies; food diaries
25.  Economic difficulties and subsequent sleep problems: Evidence from British and Finnish occupational cohorts 
Sleep Medicine  2012;13(6):680-685.
Background
Social determinants of sleep may prove to be as important as health status. In this study we examined the extent to which persistent and changing economic difficulties are associated with sleep problems in two prospective occupational cohorts.
Methods
We used data from Finnish (baseline 2000–2002; follow-up 2007; n = 6328) and British (baseline 1997–1999; follow-up 2003–2004; n = 5002) public sector employees. Economic difficulties, sleep problems, and a variety of covariates were assessed at baseline and follow-up.
Results
Prevalence of frequent sleep problems at follow-up was 27% and 20% among women and men in the Finnish cohort, and 34% and 27% in the British cohort, respectively. Odds for sleep problems were higher among those with persistent economic difficulties (frequent economic difficulties at baseline and follow-up) compared to those with no difficulties. This association remained after multiple adjustments, including parental and current socioeconomic position, in the Finnish (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.35–2.18) cohort. Increases in economic difficulties were similarly associated with sleep problems in the Finnish and the British cohort.
Conclusion
Evidence from two occupational cohorts suggests strong associations between economic difficulty and poor sleep. Awareness of this association will help health care professionals identify and prevent sleep problems.
doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2011.10.036
PMCID: PMC3382711  PMID: 22445231
Financial problems; Follow-up; Insomnia; International; Lifecourse; Socioeconomic

Results 1-25 (84)