Andrew Steptoe's research while affiliated with University College London and other places

Publications (929)

Article
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Objective: To examine the associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and the risk of hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy in a national sample of women in England. Design: Retrospective cohort study SETTING: A stratified random sample of households across England POPULATION: 2,648 women aged ≥55trueyears in 2007 from the English...
Article
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We investigated the immediate and longer-term impact (over 4-6 months) of probable COVID-19 infection on mental health, wellbeing, financial hardship, and social interactions among older people living in England. Data were analysed from 5146 older adults participating in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing who provided data before the pandemic...
Article
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has led to major economic disruptions. In March 2020, the UK implemented the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – known as furlough – to minimize the impact of job losses. We investigate associations between change in employment status and mental and social wellbeing during the early stages of the pandemic. Methods D...
Article
Objectives Obesity is associated with increased risk of depression, but the extent to which this association is symptom-specific is unknown. We examined the associations of overweight and obesity with individual depressive symptoms. Methods We pooled data from 15 population-based cohorts comprising 57,532 individuals aged 18 to 100 years at study...
Article
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Objectives to analyse the accuracy of grip strength and gait speed in identifying mortality; to compare the association between mortality and sarcopenia defined by the EWGSOP1 and EWGSOP2 using the best cut-off found in the present study and those recommended in the literature and to test whether slowness is better than these two definitions to ide...
Preprint
Government enforced restrictions on movement during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to have had profound impacts on the daily behaviours of many individuals, including physical activity (PA). Given the associations between PA and other health behaviours, changes in PA during the pandemic may have been detrimental for other health behaviours. This...
Article
Background: Governments have implemented a range of measures focused on changing citizens' behaviors to lower the transmission of COVID-19. While international data shows that compliance did decline from the start of the pandemic, average trends could mask considerable heterogeneity in compliance behaviors. Purpose: To explore trajectories of co...
Article
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has had substantial impacts on lives across the globe. Job losses have been widespread, and individuals have experienced significant restrictions on their usual activities, including extended isolation from family and friends. While studies suggest population mental health worsened from before the pandemic, not all...
Article
Psychological stress is considered to be a potential contributor in the development of arterial stiffness. However, an independent association between arterial stiffness and biological markers of stress has not yet been established. We examined the independent association between salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) activity and arterial stiffness, not med...
Article
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The frequency of, and risk factors for, long COVID are unclear among community-based individuals with a history of COVID-19. To elucidate the burden and possible causes of long COVID in the community, we coordinated analyses of survey data from 6907 individuals with self-reported COVID-19 from 10 UK longitudinal study (LS) samples and 1.1 million i...
Article
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Background/Objective Anemia and dynapenia can occur simultaneously. Separately, both conditions increase the mortality risk with advancing age. However, there is no epidemiological evidence on the combined effect of these conditions on mortality in older adults. We investigated whether combined anemia and dynapenia increase the mortality risk, and...
Preprint
Background There has been much research into the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is related to time-invariant individual characteristics (e.g. age and gender). However, there is still a lack of research showing long-term trajectories of mental health across different stages of the pandemic. And little is known regarding the...
Preprint
Background Data discovery, the ability to find datasets relevant to an analysis, accelerates science, increases scientific opportunity, and improves scientific rigour. Rapid growth in the depth, breadth, quantity and availability of data provides unprecedented opportunities and challenges for data discovery. A potential tool for increasing the effi...
Preprint
Socioeconomic determinants are well-established modulators of inflammation and neuroendocrine activity. Less clear is whether neighbourhood-contextual or individual-compositional factors are more closely associated with gradients in these biomarkers. Here, we examine how immune and neuroendocrine activity are cross-sectionally and longitudinally ne...
Article
BACKGROUND: There is growing interest in examining objective markers for early identification and behavioral intervention to prevent dementia and mild cognitive impairment in clinical and community settings. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between salivary alpha-amylase as an objective measure of psychological stress response and mild cog...
Article
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Vitamin D deficiency compromises elements underlying the disability process; however, there is no evidence demonstrating the association between vitamin D deficiency and the incidence of disability in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). We investigated the association between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of incidence of IADL disabi...
Preprint
Background. Suboptimal sleep durations and depression frequently cooccur. Short-sleep and long-sleep are commonly thought of as symptoms of depression, but a growing literature suggest that they may be prodromal. While each represents a process of mutual influence, directionality between them remains unclear. Using polygenetic scores (PGS), we inve...
Article
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Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are associated with HPA axis dysregulation at younger ages, but there is scarcity of evidence for this association at older ages. To add to our knowledge of the lifetime impact of ACE on HPA axis function, we examined whether ACE were associated with diurnal cortisol patterns in a national sample of 587 participa...
Article
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Background Inflammatory dysregulation may be linked with mental health disturbances in people with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), however no previous studies have examined longitudinal associations between inflammatory stress responses and mental health outcomes in T2D. Purpose To better understand the biological mechanisms that might predispose people wi...
Preprint
This study examined the association between greenspace and the growth trajectories of anxiety symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from 19,848 urban residents in England who were followed for 20 months between March 2020 and October 2021, we found that living in an area with higher greenspace coverage was associated with fewer anxiety...
Article
Full-text available
Importance: How population mental health has evolved across the COVID-19 pandemic under varied lockdown measures is poorly understood, and the consequences for health inequalities are unclear. Objective: To investigate changes in mental health and sociodemographic inequalities from before and across the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 11...
Article
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Background Confidence in the central UK Government has declined since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while this may be linked to specific government actions to curb the spread of the virus, understanding is still incomplete. Examining public opinion is important, as research suggests that low confidence in government increases the exte...
Article
Background: Government enforced restrictions on movement during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to have had profound impacts on the daily behaviours of many individuals, including physical activity (PA). Given the pre-pandemic evidence for associations between PA and other health behaviours, changes in PA during the pandemic may have been detrimen...
Preprint
Background Government enforced restrictions on movement during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to have had profound impacts on the daily behaviours of many individuals, including physical activity (PA). Given the pre-pandemic evidence for associations between PA and other health behaviours, changes in PA during the pandemic may have been detriment...
Article
Full-text available
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with depression and systemic inflammation in adults. However, limited longitudinal research has tested these relationships in children and young people, and it is unclear whether inflammation is an underlying mechanism through which ACEs influence depression. We examined the longitudinal associati...
Preprint
Background There is a growing global awareness of the psychological consequences of long Covid, supported by emerging empirical evidence. However, the mergence and long-term trajectories of psychological symptoms following the infection are still unclear. Aims To examine when psychological symptoms first emerge following the infection with SARS-Co...
Article
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Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought about significant behavioural changes, one of which is increased time spent at home. This could have important public health implications. This study aimed to explore longitudinal patterns of ‘home confinement’ (defined as not leaving the house/garden) during the COVID-19 pande...
Article
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Background Smoking is often colloquially considered “social”. However, the actual relationship of smoking with current and future social isolation and loneliness is unclear. We therefore examined these relationships over a 12-year follow-up. Methods In this cohort study, we used a nationally representative sample of community dwelling adults aged...
Article
Background: Few studies of social isolation, loneliness and associations with all-cause mortality in older adults have been conducted in non-Western countries. The aim of this study was to conduct such an analysis in a nationally representative sample of Chinese older adults. Methods: This study used eight waves of data from the Chinese Longitud...
Article
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Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly heritable, neurodevelopmental disorder known to associate with more than double the risk of death compared with people without ADHD. Because most research on ADHD has focused on children and adolescents, among whom death rates are relatively low, the impact of a high polygenic...
Article
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Background As an accelerated cognitive decline frequently heralds onset of severe neuropathological disorders, understanding the source of individual differences in withstanding the onslaught of cognitive ageing may highlight how best cognitive abilities may be retained into advanced age. Methods Using a population representative sample of 5088 ad...
Article
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Background: There is little epidemiological evidence of sex differences in the association between dynapenic abdominal obesity and the decline in physical performance among older adults. Objective: The aims of the present study were to investigate whether the decline in physical performance is worse in individuals with dynapenic abdominal obese...
Article
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Background Understanding how polygenic scores for ageing-related traits interact with diet in determining a future dementia including Alzheimer’s diagnosis (AD) would increase our understanding of mechanisms underlying dementia onset. Methods Using 6784 population representative adults aged ≥50 years from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing,...
Article
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Background During the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government implemented a series of guidelines, rules, and restrictions to change citizens’ behaviour to tackle the spread of the virus, such as the promotion of face masks and the imposition of lockdown stay-at-home orders. The success of such measures requires active co-operation on the part of citiz...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Despite the emphasis placed on the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence from representative studies of older adults including pre–COVID-19 data and repeated assessments during the pandemic is scarce. Objective To examine changes in mental health and well-being before and during the initial and later phases of the COVI...
Article
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Play is considered an important contributor to healthy ageing. Using data from 3,067 participants aged 50+ from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, we explored online gaming assessed at wave 6 (2012/13) and quality-of-life, loneliness, and depression at wave 9 (2018/19). Covariates were age, sex, marital status, education, work status, depres...
Article
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Lower educational attainment is associated with a higher risk of dementia and a steeper cognitive decline in older adults. However, less clear is how other socioeconomic markers contribute to cognitive ageing and if these socioeconomic influences on cognitive ageing differ between England and China. We examined the relationship of education, househ...
Article
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Too little or too much sleep is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. However, sleep duration does not capture other sleep problems prevalent in older adults, such as difficulties with falling or staying asleep. Less is known about the impact of sleep quality on cognitive ageing, and if this relationship differs between Eng...
Article
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Japan is the world’s fastest ageing population, with a higher prevalence of dementia than in the UK. Less clear is the role of socioeconomic inequalities in neurocognitive disorders between these countries. This study aims to assess comparatively the relationship between education, a marker of cognitive reserve, and income in relation to mild cogni...
Article
Full-text available
Background Polypharmacy is common among older people and is associated with an increased mortality risk. However, little is known about whether the mortality risk is related to specific medications among older adults with polypharmacy. This study therefore aimed to investigate associations between high-risk medications and all-cause and cause-speci...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on population mental health is of global concern. Inflammatory processes are thought to contribute to mental ill-health, but their role in experiences of psychological distress during the pandemic has not been investigated. We tested the hypothesis that elevated inflammatory biomarkers (high-sensitivity plasma C-...
Article
Full-text available
Polygenic indexes (PGIs) are DNA-based predictors. Their value for research in many scientific disciplines is growing rapidly. As a resource for researchers, we used a consistent methodology to construct PGIs for 47 phenotypes in 11 datasets. To maximize the PGIs’ prediction accuracies, we constructed them using genome-wide association studies—some...
Article
With the projected surge in global dementia cases, research is increasingly focusing on lifestyle factors as preventive measure. Social and cognitive leisure activities are promising targets, but have thus far received relatively little attention. This study investigates whether cognitive and social activities contribute to dementia risk, and wheth...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to major economic disruptions. In March 2020, the UK implemented the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as furlough, to minimize the impact of job losses. We investigate associations between change in employment status and mental and social wellbeing during the early stages of the pandemic. Methods: Da...
Article
Full-text available
Background Women are more likely to have functional limitations than are men, partly because of greater socioeconomic disadvantage. However, how sex differences vary by severity of functional limitations remains unclear. We examined sex differences in functional limitations, with attention to socioeconomic factors and severity of limitations. Meth...
Article
Background Women are more likely to have functional limitations (ie, limitations in activities of daily living) than men, partly due to sex differences in socioeconomic factors. How changes in sex differences in socioeconomic factors in successive birth cohorts have affected functional limitations is unclear. We aimed to examine sex differences in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: How population mental health has evolved across the COVID-19 pandemic under varied lockdown measures is poorly understood, with impacts on health inequalities unclear. We investigated changes in mental health and sociodemographic inequalities from before and across the first year of the pandemic in 11 longitudinal studies. Methods: Data...
Article
Objective: Evidence from anti-inflammatory drug trials for the treatment of depression has been inconsistent. This may be ascribed to the differing symptom-specific effects of inflammation. Accordingly, the authors explored the associations between systemic inflammation and an array of individual symptoms of depression across multiple studies. Me...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying how socioeconomic positioning and genetic factors interact in the development of obesity is imperative for population-level obesity prevention strategies. The current study investigated whether social positioning, either independently or through interaction with a polygenic score for Body Mass Index (BMI-PGS), influences BMI trajectorie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant behavioural changes, one of which is increased time spent at home. Although official lockdowns were typically short-term and allowed people to leave their homes for exercise and essential activities, some individuals did not leave their home for prolonged periods due to a range of facto...
Article
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives and livelihoods, and people already experiencing mental ill health may have been especially vulnerable. Aims Quantify mental health inequalities in disruptions to healthcare, economic activity and housing. Method We examined data from 59 482 participants in 12 UK longitudinal studies with data...
Article
Full-text available
Background:The trajectory of incident disability that occurs simultaneously with changes in frailty status, as well as how much each frailty component contributes to this process in the different sexes, are unknown. The objective of this study is to analyse the trajectory of the incidence of disability on basic and instrumental activities of daily...
Preprint
Background Optimal energy balance behaviours in pregnancy reduce maternal and foetal risk of obesity. A brief intervention (defined as one that is purposefully limited in frequency and time of contact) delivered by during routine antenatal care may promote health behaviour change. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of brief interventions targetin...
Article
Full-text available
Background Governments have implemented a range of measures to tackle COVID-19, primarily focusing on changing citizens’ behaviours in order to lower the transmission of the virus. Few studies have looked at the patterns of compliance with different measures within individuals: whether people comply with all measures or selectively choose some but...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown reduced physical activity at early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is a lack of investigation on longitudinal changes in physical activity beyond lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Moreover, it is unclear if there is heterogeneity in physical activity growth trajectories. This study aimed to explore longitu...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Objectives Psychosocial factors have been hypothesized to increase the risk of cancer. This study aims (1) to test whether psychosocial factors (depression, anxiety, recent loss events, subjective social support, relationship status, general distress, and neuroticism) are associated with the incidence of any cancer (any, breast, lung, pro...
Conference Paper
Background In the context of rapidly ageing populations worldwide, this study aims to investigate a cross- country comparison of the relationship between various socioeconomic markers such as education, household wealth, and urbanicity with cognitive decline over 8 years in England and China. Methods We used data from 7,200 adults aged 50+ from th...
Article
Background Dysregulation of diurnal cortisol patterns may mediate between chronic stress and health problems. Findings on the association of childhood adversities with adult cortisol, however, are equivocal, mainly due to low statistical power, sample selection, and unstandardised indices of cortisol. Methods Participants were from Whitehall II st...
Conference Paper
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be viewed as the extreme end of heritable traits distributed in the general population. Due to the focus on children in the literature on ADHD and data constraints, to-date, almost no research focused on the relationship between ADHD-related outcomes in older adults from the general pop...
Conference Paper
Background Play and games are considered important contributors to healthy ageing; however, it is not clear how online gaming contributes to this association. We aimed to explore the impact of online gaming on older adult well-being. Methods Using data from 3,067 participants aged 50 years and older from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, w...
Conference Paper
Background Polypharmacy is common among older people and found to be associated with a high risk of mortality. However, little is known about how specific medications impact older adults with polypharmacy. Thus, this study aimed to investigate associations between high-risk medications and all-cause and cause-specific mortality among older adults w...
Conference Paper
Background The interplay between social connections, leisure engagement and health is well investigated, highlighting how social connections and leisure engagement affect health outcomes; and reciprocally, how these health factors predict leisure engagement and aspects of our social connections. However, there remains a gap in our understanding of...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The trajectory of incident disability that occurs simultaneously with changes in frailty status, as well as how much each frailty component contributes to this process in the different sexes, are unknown. The objective of this study is to analyse the trajectory of the incidence of disability on basic and instrumental activities of dail...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has had substantial impacts on lives across the globe. Job losses have been widespread, and individuals have experienced significant restrictions on their usual activities, including extended isolation from family and friends. While studies suggest population mental health worsened from before the pandemic, not all...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Identifying how socioeconomic positioning and genetic factors interact in the development of obesity is imperative for population-level obesity prevention strategies. The current study investigated whether social positioning, either independently or through interaction with a polygenic score for Body Mass Index (BMI-PGS), influences BMI...
Article
Full-text available
Dysregulated hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis function might underlie the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and depression. However, limited research has examined the possible mediating role of the HPA-axis among young people using longitudinal data. Moreover, it remains unclear whether genetic influences could cont...
Article
Background Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and genetic liability are important risk factors for depression and inflammation. However, little is known about the gene−environment (G × E) mechanisms underlying their aetiology. For the first time, we tested the independent and interactive associations of ACEs and polygenic scores of major depressi...
Article
Background The positive direct relation between stress and the development of cardiovascular disease has increasingly been recognized. However, the link between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) dysregulation and subclinical cardiovascular disease has not been studied longitudinally. We investigated the relation of diurnal salivary cortisol, as...
Article
Full-text available
Background Living alone has been associated with increased mortality risk, but it is unclear whether this is a result of a selection effect or the impact of stressful life changes such as widowhood or divorce leading to changes in living arrangements. We therefore examined the association between living alone, transitions in living arrangements and...