Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Slow reaction time linked with early death

Date:
January 29, 2014
Source:
University College London
Summary:
Having a slow reaction time in midlife increases risk of having died 15 years later, according to new research. Researchers looked at data from more than 5,000 participants, over a 15 year period. A total of 378 (7.4 percent) people in the sample died, but those with slower reaction times were 25 percent more likely to have died (from any cause) compared to those with average reaction times.

Screen shot from the reaction time test.
Credit: Image courtesy of University College London

Having a slow reaction time in midlife increases risk of having died 15 years later, according to new research published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Researchers from UCL and the University of Edinburgh looked at data from more than 5,000 participants (age 20 to 59) collected from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III) in the US. At the start of the study in 1990s, participants visited an examination centre and had their reaction times measured. The task was very simple -- they had to press a button when they saw an image appear on a computer screen. Over the next 15 years, they were followed to record who had died and who survived.

A total of 378 (7.4%) people in the sample died, but those with slower reaction times were 25% more likely to have died (from any cause) compared to those with average reaction times. This remained the case after the researchers had accounted for the participants' age, sex, ethnic group, socio-economic background and lifestyle factors into account. There was no relationship between reaction time and death from cancer or respiratory problems.

Lead researcher Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson, from the UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, said: "Reaction time is thought to reflect a basic aspect of the central nervous system and speed of information processing is considered a basic cognitive ability (mental skill). Our research shows that a simple test of reaction time in adulthood can predict survival, independently of age, sex, ethnic group and socio-economic background. Reaction time may indicate how well our central nervous and other systems in the body are working. People who are consistently slow to respond to new information may go on to experience problems that increase their risk of early death. In the future, we may be able to use reaction times to monitor health and survival. For now, a healthy lifestyle is the best thing people can do in order to live longer."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gareth Hagger-Johnson, Ian J. Deary, Carolyn A. Davies, Alexander Weiss, G. David Batty. Reaction Time and Mortality from the Major Causes of Death: The NHANES-III Study. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e82959 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082959

Cite This Page:

University College London. "Slow reaction time linked with early death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129184828.htm>.
University College London. (2014, January 29). Slow reaction time linked with early death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129184828.htm
University College London. "Slow reaction time linked with early death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129184828.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins