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Copenhagen, Denmark

Hansen A.M.,Copenhagen University | Hansen A.M.,Helmholtz Center Munich | Hansen A.M.,Copenhagen Stress Research Center | Andersen L.L.,Helmholtz Center Munich | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health | Year: 2016

Background The mechanisms underlying the social gradient in physical functioning are not fully understood. Cumulative physiological stress may be a pathway. The present study aimed to investigate the association between highest attained school education and physical performance in late midlife, and to determine to what extent cumulative physiological stress mediated these associations. Methods The study is based on data from the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank (CAMB; n=5467 participants, aged 48-62 years, 31.5% women). School education was measured as highest examination passed in primary or secondary school (3 categories). Cumulative stress was operationalised as allostatic load (AL), and measured as the number of biological parameters (out of 14) in which participants scored in the poorest quartile. Physical performance included dynamic muscle performance (chair rise ability, postural balance, sagittal flexibility) and muscle strength (jump height, trunk extension and flexion, and handgrip strength). Results Among women, higher school education was associated with better performance in all physical performance tests. Among men, higher school education was associated with better performance only in chair rise and jump height. AL partially mediated the association between school education and physical performance, and accounted only for 2-30% of the total effect among women. Similar results were observed among men for chair rise and jump height. Conclusions These results might indicate that AL plays a minor role in the association between school education and late midlife dynamic muscle performance in both men and women, and in muscle strength among women. © 2016 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Source

Fich L.B.,University of Aalborg | Jonsson P.,Kristianstad University College | Kirkegaard P.H.,University of Aarhus | Wallergard M.,Lund University | And 4 more authors.
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2014

Is has long been established, that views to natural scenes can a have a dampening effect on physiological stress responses. However, as people in Europe, Canada and North America today spent 50-85% of their time indoors, attention might also be paid to how the artificial man-made indoor environment influences these mechanisms. The question that this study attempts to start addressing is therefore whether certain design, characteristics of indoor spaces can make a difference to the physiological stress response as well. Using a virtual version of the Trier Social Stress Test, in which the space is computer generated and properties of the space therefore can be systematically varied, we measured saliva cortisol and heart rate variability in participants in a closed room versus a room with openings. As shown by a significant linear contrast interaction between groups and TSST conditions, participants in the closed room responded with more pronounced cortisol reactivity to stress induction, and continued to show higher levels throughout recovery, compared to participants in the open room. No differences were found regarding any part of the autonomic nervous system. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Pedersen J.M.,Copenhagen University | Budtz-Jorgensen E.,Copenhagen University | Mortensen E.L.,Copenhagen University | Bruunsgaard H.,Copenhagen University | And 7 more authors.
Obesity | Year: 2016

Objective The aim was to estimate the effects of ponderal index at birth and body mass index (BMI) in early adulthood on C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) and to quantify the effects through subsequent measures of body size. In a subanalysis, the contributions of maternal BMI to the inflammatory status of offspring were investigated. Methods The study was based on 2,986 Danish males from the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank. Path analysis was employed to estimate direct and indirect effects. Results A 10% higher maternal BMI was associated with 7% higher CRP and 3% higher IL-6 among offspring. A 10% higher ponderal index at birth was associated with 4% lower CRP in late midlife; this effect was only partially mediated by later growth. A 10% higher BMI in early adulthood was associated with 8% higher CRP and 4% higher IL-6 in late midlife. The findings suggest that weight gain in adulthood is associated with low-grade inflammation in late midlife. Conclusions Ponderal index at birth is associated with CRP in later life independently of adult BMI. The findings additionally suggest that preventing weight gain in early adulthood would be beneficial for inflammatory status in later life. © 2015 The Obesity Society. Source

Rod N.H.,Copenhagen University | Rod N.H.,Copenhagen Stress Research Center | Kumari M.,University College London | Lange T.,Copenhagen University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: Both sleep duration and sleep quality are related to future health, but their combined effects on mortality are unsettled. We aimed to examine the individual and joint effects of sleep duration and sleep disturbances on cause-specific mortality in a large prospective cohort study. Methods: We included 9,098 men and women free of pre-existing disease from the Whitehall II study, UK. Sleep measures were self-reported at baseline (1985-1988). Participants were followed until 2010 in a nationwide death register for total and cause-specific (cardiovascular disease, cancer and other) mortality. Results: There were 804 deaths over a mean 22 year follow-up period. In men, short sleep (≤6 hrs/night) and disturbed sleep were not independently associated with CVD mortality, but there was an indication of higher risk among men who experienced both (HR = 1.57; 95% CI: 0.96-2.58). In women, short sleep and disturbed sleep were independently associated with CVD mortality, and women with both short and disturbed sleep experienced a much higher risk of CVD mortality (3.19; 1.52-6.72) compared to those who slept 7-8 hours with no sleep disturbances; equivalent to approximately 90 additional deaths per 100,000 person years. Sleep was not associated with death due to cancer or other causes. Conclusion: Both short sleep and disturbed sleep are independent risk factors for CVD mortality in women and future studies on sleep may benefit from assessing disturbed sleep in addition to sleep duration in order to capture health-relevant features of inadequate sleep. © 2014 Rod et al. Source

Christensen A.S.,Copenhagen University | Christensen A.S.,Copenhagen Stress Research Center | Clark A.,Copenhagen University | Clark A.,Copenhagen Stress Research Center | And 8 more authors.
Sleep | Year: 2013

Study Objectives: Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) has been associated with oxidative stress, infammation, and altered hormonal levels, all of which could affect the risk of cancer. The aim of the study is to examine if symptoms of SDB including snoring, breathing cessations, and daytime sleepiness affect the incidence of total cancer and subtypes of cancer. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: The third wave (1991-1993) of the Copenhagen City Heart Study. Participants: There were 8,783 men and women in whom cancer had not been previously diagnosed. Measurements and Results: Participants answered questions about snoring and breathing cessations in 1991-1993, whereas information about daytime sleepiness based on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale was collected in a subset of the participants (n = 5,894) in 1998. First-time incidence of cancer was followed until December 2009 in a nationwide cancer register. We found no overall association between symptoms of SDB and incident cancer. Yet, in the small group with high daytime sleepiness, we observed a surprisingly higher cancer incidence (hazard ratio = 4.09;95% CI 1.58-10.55) in persons younger than 50 years. We also found a higher risk of virus/immune-related cancers (2.73;1.27-5.91) and alcohol-related cancers (4.92;1.45-16.76) among persons with daytime sleepiness. More SDB symptoms were associated with a higher risk of smoking-related cancers (Ptrend: 0.04). Apart from these fndings there were no clear associations between symptoms of sleep disordered breathing and cancer subtypes. Conclusion: We found very limited evidence of relationship between symptoms of sleep disordered breathing and incidence of cancer. Source

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