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Articles by C Cooper
Total Records ( 6 ) for C Cooper
  S Robinson , H Syddall , K Jameson , S Batelaan , H Martin , E. M Dennison , C Cooper , A. A Sayer and The Hertfordshire Study Group

Background: dietary patterns analysis takes account of the combined effects of foods and may be a more meaningful way of assessing dietary exposure than considering individual nutrients. Little is known about the dietary patterns of older adults in the UK.

Objective: to describe the dietary patterns of a population of community-dwelling older men and women and to examine factors associated with compliance with these patterns.

Setting and Participants: 3,217 men and women aged 59–73 years who were participants in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study.

Methods: diet was assessed using an administered food frequency questionnaire; dietary patterns were identified using principal component analysis.

Results: two dietary patterns were identified. The first was characterised by high consumption of fruit, vegetables, oily fish and wholemeal cereals (‘prudent’ pattern); the second was characterised by high consumption of vegetables, processed and red meat, fish and puddings (‘traditional’ pattern). High ‘prudent’ diet scores were more common in women, in men and women in non-manual classes and in non-smokers (all P < 0.05), whilst high ‘traditional’ diet scores were more common in men, in men and women who had partners and were associated with higher alcohol consumption (all P < 0.05).

Conclusions: we have described large variations in food consumption and nutrient intake amongst older adults that are likely to have implications for future health. The specific socio-demographic correlates of the dietary patterns provide insights into the contexts within which good and poor diets exist, and may help in the identification of opportunities for dietary intervention.

  T. A Ashfield , H. E Syddall , H. J Martin , E. M Dennison , C Cooper and A. A. Sayer

Background: reduced grip strength is associated with adverse health consequences, and there is interest in identifying modifiable influences. Cardiovascular drugs are commonly used by older people, but their effect on muscle strength is unclear.

Methods: we investigated associations between cardiovascular drug use and grip strength among 1,572 men and 1,415 women, aged 59–73, who participated in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study.

Results: Forty-five percent of participants were taking a cardiovascular drug. Furosemide was associated with average decreases in grip strength of 3.15 kg (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.90, 5.39, P < 0.01) among men and 2.35 kg (95% CI 0.93, 3.77, P < 0.01) among women after adjustment for age and height. Corresponding differences for nitrates were 1.84 kg (95% CI 0.29, 3.39, P = 0.02) among men and 3.66 kg (95% CI 1.99, 5.33, P < 0.01) among women. Calcium channel blockers and fibrates were associated with reduced grip among women. Statins were not associated with grip. The associations between grip strength and nitrate use in men and nitrate and fibrate use in women were robust to additional adjustment for co-morbidity.

Conclusions: use of some cardiovascular drugs is associated with reduced grip strength in older people. These findings have potential implications for the functional ability of older people treated with these drugs.

  H Syddall , H. C Roberts , C Cooper , H Bergman and A. A. Sayer

Background: frailty, a multi-dimensional geriatric syndrome, confers a high risk for falls, disability, hospitalisation and mortality. The prevalence and correlates of frailty in the UK are unknown.

Methods: frailty, defined by Fried, was examined among community-dwelling young-old (64–74 years) men (n = 320) and women (n = 318) who participated in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study, UK.

Results: the prevalence of frailty was 8.5% among women and 4.1% among men (P = 0.02). Among men, older age (P = 0.009), younger age of leaving education (P = 0.05), not owning/mortgaging one's home (odds ratio [OR] for frailty 3.45 [95% confidence interval {CI} 1.01–11.81], P = 0.05, in comparison with owner/mortgage occupiers) and reduced car availability (OR for frailty 3.57 per unit decrease in number of cars available [95% CI 1.32, 10.0], P = 0.01) were associated with increased odds of frailty. Among women, not owning/mortgaging one's home (P = 0.02) was associated with frailty. With the exception of car availability among men (P = 0.03), all associations were non-significant (P > 0.05) after adjustment for co-morbidity.

Conclusions: frailty is not uncommon even among community-dwelling young-old men and women in the UK. There are social inequalities in frailty which appear to be mediated by co-morbidity.

  R Cooper , D Kuh , C Cooper , C. R Gale , D. A Lawlor , F Matthews , R Hardy and the FALCon and HALCyon Study Teams

Background: measures of physical capability may be predictive of subsequent health, but existing published studies have not been systematically reviewed. We hypothesised that weaker grip strength, slower walking speed and chair rising and shorter standing balance time, in community-dwelling populations, would be associated with higher subsequent risk of fracture, cognitive outcomes, cardiovascular disease, hospitalisation and institutionalisation.

Methods: studies were identified through systematic searches of the electronic databases MEDLINE and EMBASE (to May 2009). Reference lists of eligible papers were also manually searched.

Results: twenty-four papers had examined the associations between at least one physical capability measure and one of the outcomes. As the physical capability measures and outcomes had been assessed and categorised in different ways in different studies, and there were differences in the potential confounding factors taken into account, this made it impossible to pool results. There were more studies examining fractures than other outcomes, and grip strength and walking speed were the most commonly examined capability measures. Most studies found that weaker grip strength and slower walking speed were associated with increased risk of future fractures and cognitive decline, but residual confounding may explain results in some studies. Associations between physical capability levels and the other specified outcomes have not been tested widely.

Conclusions: there is some evidence to suggest that objective measures of physical capability may be predictors of subsequent health in older community-dwelling populations. Most hypothesised associations have not been studied sufficiently to draw definitive conclusions suggesting the need for further research.

  P. E Bebbington , C Cooper , S Minot , T. S Brugha , R Jenkins , H Meltzer and M. Dennis

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to utilize data from the 2000 British National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity, a randomized cross-sectional survey of the British population that included questions relating to the phenomena of suicidality and sexual abuse, to test the hypothesis that suicide attempts in women are significantly associated with a history of sexual abuse. METHOD: Participants were male and female volunteers, ages 16 to 74 years old (N=8,580), interviewed in the 2000 British National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity. RESULTS: Sexual abuse was strongly associated with a history of suicide attempts as well as of suicidal intent and was more common in women. The population attributable risk fraction was considerably greater in female respondents (28%) than in male respondents (7%), which is consistent with more prevalent exposure to sexual abuse among women. The effect of sexual abuse on suicidal attempts and suicidal intent was reduced by controlling for affective symptoms, suggesting that the effect of the former was likely to be mediated by affective changes. CONCLUSIONS: Sexual abuse is a significant antecedent of suicidal behavior, particularly among women. In identifying suicidal behavior, it is important to consider the possibility of sexual abuse, since it implies a need for focused treatment.

  L Jones , J Scott , C Cooper , L Forty , K. G Smith , P Sham , A Farmer , P McGuffin , N Craddock and I. Jones


Only some women with recurrent major depressive disorder experience postnatal episodes. Personality and/or cognitive styles might increase the likelihood of experiencing postnatal depression.


To establish whether personality and cognitive style predicts vulnerability to postnatal episodes over and above their known relationship to depression in general.


We compared personality and cognitive style in women with recurrent major depressive disorder who had experienced one or more postnatal episodes (postnatal depression (PND) group, n=143) with healthy female controls (control group, n=173). We also examined parous women with recurrent major depressive disorder who experienced no perinatal episodes (non-postnatal depression (NPND) group, n=131).


The PND group had higher levels of neuroticism and dysfunctional beliefs, and lower self-esteem than the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the PND and NPND groups.


Established personality and cognitive vulnerabilities for depression were reported by women with a history of postnatal depression, but there was no evidence that any of these traits or styles confer a specific risk for the postnatal onset of episodes.

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