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IQ in early adulthood and later risk of death by homicide: cohort study of 1 million men

  • G. David Batty (a1), Ian J. Deary (a2), Anders Tengstrom (a3) and Finn Rasmussen (a4)
Abstract
Background

Risk factors for homicide are emerging; however, the predictive value of IQ, for which there is a strong prima facie case, has yet to be examined.

Aims

To examine the association between IQ and risk of death by homicide.

Method

A cohort of 968 846 men, aged 18–19 years, were administered an IQ test battery at military conscription and then followed for mortality experience over two decades.

Results

There were 191 deaths due to homicide during follow-up. In age-adjusted analyses, a high total IQ test score was associated with a reduced rate of homicide (hazard ratio (HR) per standard deviation increase in IQ score=0.49, 95% CI 0.42–0.57). A step-wise gradient was apparent across the three IQ groups (P-value for trend 50.001). After adjustment for indicators of socio-economic position and illness at conscription, this gradient was marginally attenuated (HR=0.57, 95% CI 0.49–0.67).

Conclusions

High IQ test scores in early adulthood were associated with a reduced risk of death by homicide.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits noncommercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
F. Rasmussen, Child and Adolescent Public Health Epidemiology Group, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, SE-17176 Stockholm, Sweden. Email: finn.rasmussen@ki.se
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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IQ in early adulthood and later risk of death by homicide: cohort study of 1 million men

  • G. David Batty (a1), Ian J. Deary (a2), Anders Tengstrom (a3) and Finn Rasmussen (a4)
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