Cognitive test scores in UK Biobank: data reduction in 480,416 participants and longitudinal stability in 20,346 participants

Lyall, D. M. et al. (2016) Cognitive test scores in UK Biobank: data reduction in 480,416 participants and longitudinal stability in 20,346 participants. PLoS ONE, 11(4), e0154222. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154222) (PMID:27110937) (PMCID:PMC4844168)

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UK Biobank includes 502,649 middle- and older-aged adults from the general population who have undergone detailed phenotypic assessment. The majority of participants completed tests of cognitive functioning, and on average four years later a sub-group of N = 20,346 participants repeated most of the assessment. These measures will be used in a range of future studies of health outcomes in this cohort. The format and content of the cognitive tasks were partly novel. The aim of the present study was to validate and characterize the cognitive data: to describe the inter-correlational structure of the cognitive variables at baseline assessment, and the degree of stability in scores across longitudinal assessment. Baseline cognitive data were used to examine the inter-correlational/factor-structure, using principal components analysis (PCA). We also assessed the degree of stability in cognitive scores in the subsample of participants with repeat data. The different tests of cognitive ability showed significant raw inter-correlations in the expected directions. PCA suggested a one-factor solution (eigenvalue = 1.60), which accounted for around 40% of the variance. Scores showed varying levels of stability across time-points (intraclass correlation range = 0.16 to 0.65). UK Biobank cognitive data has the potential to be a significant resource for researchers looking to investigate predictors and modifiers of cognitive abilities and associated health outcomes in the general population.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research has been conducted using the UK Biobank resource. The authors are grateful to UK Biobank participants. UK Biobank was established by the Wellcome Trust medical charity, Medical Research Council, Department of Health, Scottish Government, and the Northwest Regional Development Agency. It has also had funding from the Welsh Assembly Government and the British Heart Foundation. The work was undertaken within the University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (, part of the cross council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Initiative (G0700704/84698). Funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and MRC is gratefully acknowledged. Sponsors and funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Daniel and Anderson, Dr Jana and Evans, Professor Jonathan and Cullen, Dr Breda and Mackay, Professor Daniel and Pell, Professor Jill and Lyall, Dr Donald
Authors: Lyall, D. M., Cullen, B., Allerhand, M., Smith, D. J., Mackay, D., Evans, J., Anderson, J., Fawns-Ritchie, C., McIntosh, A. M., Deary, I. J., and Pell, J. P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Published Online:25 April 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Lyall et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 11(4): e0154222
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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