Browsing by Subject "CAUSAL INFERENCE"

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  • Piirtola, Maarit; Jelenkovic, Aline; Latvala, Antti; Sund, Reijo; Korhonen, Maila Tellervo; Kaprio, Jaakko; Silventoinen, Karri; collaboration group, CODATwins (2018)
    Background Smokers tend to weigh less than never smokers, while successful quitting leads to an increase in body weight. Because smokers and non-smokers may differ in genetic and environmental family background, we analysed data from twin pairs in which the co-twins differed by their smoking behaviour to evaluate if the association between smoking and body mass index (BMI) remains after controlling for family background. Methods and findings The international CODATwins database includes information on smoking and BMI measured between 1960 and 2012 from 156,593 twin individuals 18–69 years of age. Individual-based data (230,378 measurements) and data of smoking discordant twin pairs (altogether 30,014 pairwise measurements, 36% from monozygotic [MZ] pairs) were analysed with linear fixed-effects regression models by 10-year periods. In MZ pairs, the smoking co-twin had, on average, 0.57 kg/m2 lower BMI in men (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49, 0.70) and 0.65 kg/m2 lower BMI in women (95% CI: 0.52, 0.79) than the never smoking co-twin. Former smokers had 0.70 kg/m2 higher BMI among men (95% CI: 0.63, 0.78) and 0.62 kg/m2 higher BMI among women (95% CI: 0.51, 0.73) than their currently smoking MZ co-twins. Little difference in BMI was observed when comparing former smoking co-twins with their never smoking MZ co-twins (0.13 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.04, 0.23 among men; -0.04 kg/m2, 95% CI -0.16, 0.09 among women). The associations were similar within dizygotic pairs and when analysing twins as individuals. The observed series of cross-sectional associations were independent of sex, age, and measurement decade. Conclusions Smoking is associated with lower BMI and smoking cessation with higher BMI. However, the net effect of smoking and subsequent cessation on weight development appears to be minimal, i.e. never more than an average of 0.7 kg/m2.
  • Carslake, David; Fraser, Abigail; May, Margaret T.; Palmer, Tom; Silventoinen, Karri; Tynelius, Per; Lawlor, Debbie A.; Davey Smith, George (2019)
  • Lukasik, Karolina M.; Lehtonen, Minna; Soveri, Anna; Waris, Otto; Jylkkä, Jussi; Laine, Matti (2018)
    The bilingual executive advantage (BEA) hypothesis has attracted considerable research interest, but the findings are inconclusive. We addressed this issue in the domain of working memory (WM), as more complex WM tasks have been underrepresented in the previous literature. First, we compared early and late bilingual vs. monolingual WM performance. Second, we examined whether certain aspects of bilingual experience, such as language switching frequency, are related to bilinguals' WM scores. Our online sample included 485 participants. They filled in an extensive questionnaire including background factors such as bilingualism and second language (L2) use, and performed 10 isomorphic verbal and visuospatial WM tasks that yielded three WM composite scores (visuospatial WM, verbal WM, n-back). For verbal and visuospatial WM composites, the group comparisons did not support the BEA hypothesis. N-back analysis showed an advantage of late bilinguals over monolinguals and early bilinguals, while the latter two groups did not differ. This between-groups analysis was followed by a regression analysis relating features of bilingual experience to n-back performance, but the results were non-significant in both bilingual groups. In sum, group differences supporting the BEA hypothesis were limited only to the n-back composite, and this composite was not predicted by bilingualism-related features. Moreover, Bayesian analyses did not give consistent support for the BEA hypothesis. Possible reasons for the failure to find support for the BEA hypothesis are discussed.
  • Sipila, Pyry; Rose, Richard J.; Kaprio, Jaakko (2016)
    AimsTo determine if associations of alcohol consumption with all-cause mortality replicate in discordant monozygotic twin comparisons that control for familial and genetic confounds. DesignA 30-year prospective follow-up. SettingPopulation-based older Finnish twin cohort. ParticipantsSame-sex twins, aged 24-60years at the end of 1981, without overt comorbidities, completed questionnaires in 1975 and 1981 with response rates of 89 and 84%. A total of 15607 twins were available for mortality follow-up from the date of returned 1981 questionnaires to 31December 2011; 14787 twins with complete information were analysed. MeasurementsSelf-reported monthly alcohol consumption, heavy drinking occasions (HDO) and alcohol-induced blackouts. Adjustments for age, gender, marital and smoking status, physical activity, obesity, education and social class. FindingsAmong twins as individuals, high levels of monthly alcohol consumption (259g/month) associated with earlier mortality [hazard ratio (HR)=1.63, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.47-1.81]. That association was replicated in comparisons of all informatively drinking-discordant twin pairs (HR=1.91, 95% CI=1.49-2.45) and within discordant monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs (HR=2.24, 95% CI=1.31-3.85), with comparable effect size. Smaller samples of MZ twins discordant for HDO and blackouts limited power; a significant association with mortality was found for multiple blackouts (HR=2.82, 95% CI=1.30-6.08), but not for HDO. ConclusionsThe associations of high levels of monthly alcohol consumption and alcohol-induced blackouts with increased all-cause mortality among Finnish twins cannot be explained by familial or genetic confounds; the explanation appears to be causal.