Associations between childhood intelligence and hospital admissions for unintentional injuries in adulthood: the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s cohort study

Am J Public Health. 2007 Feb;97(2):291-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.080168. Epub 2006 Dec 28.


Objectives: We examined associations between childhood intelligence and hospital admissions for injuries in adulthood.

Methods: Data were derived from a cohort study (=11103) involving individuals born in Aberdeen, Scotland, between 1950 and 1956.

Results: Overall, 1043 cohort members had at least 1 hospital admission resulting from an unintentional injury over 231152 person-years of risk. There were inverse linear associations between childhood intelligence assessed at the ages of 7, 9, and 11 years and having had a hospital admission stemming from an unintentional injury (gender-adjusted hazard ratio [HR] for a 1-standard-deviation increase in intelligence test score at age 7 years = 0.75; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.70, 0.80). These associations were not markedly affected by adjustment for childhood socioeconomic status, maternal age or height, birthweight, or childhood growth. However, they were attenuated after adjustment for educational attainment (HR=0.85; 95% CI=0.78, 0.91).

Conclusions: Childhood intelligence is related to hospital admissions for injuries in adulthood, and this relationship is partly explained by educational attainment. The association between childhood intelligence and injury may contribute to the association between childhood intelligence and premature mortality demonstrated in several studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / psychology
  • Accidents / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Family Characteristics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Intelligence*
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology