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Behav Genet. 2013 Jul;43(4):274-85. doi: 10.1007/s10519-013-9600-3. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Genetic and environmental variation in lung function drives subsequent variation in aging of fluid intelligence.

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Department of Psychology, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN, USA.


Longitudinal studies document an association of pulmonary function with cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults. Previous analyses have identified a genetic contribution to the relationship between pulmonary function with fluid intelligence. The goal of the current analysis was to apply the biometric dual change score model to consider the possibility of temporal dynamics underlying the genetic covariance between aging trajectories for pulmonary function and fluid intelligence. Longitudinal data from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging were available from 808 twins ranging in age from 50 to 88 years at the first wave. Participants completed up to six assessments covering a 19-year period. Measures at each assessment included spatial and speed factors and pulmonary function. Model-fitting indicated that genetic variance for FEV1 was a leading indicator of variation in age changes for spatial and speed factors. Thus, these data indicate a genetic component to the directional relationship from decreased pulmonary function to decreased function of fluid intelligence.

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