The impact of adversities across the lifespan on psychological symptom profiles in late adulthood : a latent profile analysis

People commonly face adverse circumstances throughout life, which increases risk for psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Adversities may occur during different periods in life. Especially adversity during early periods has been suggested to put individuals at risk for adverse mental health outcomes. Here, we investigated whether timing of adversity during the prenatal period, childhood, or mid-to-late adulthood differentially impacted classification into late adulthood symptom profiles. We performed sex-stratified Latent Profile Analysis to identify latent profiles regarding anxious, depressive, psychotic, and PTSD symptoms in n = 568 Dutch famine birth cohort members (n = 294 women, n = 274 men, mean age(SD) = 72.9(0.8)). Cross-sectional late adulthood symptomatology, childhood traumatic maltreatment, and adulthood trauma were based on selfreport questionnaires. Prenatal adversity was considered present when individuals were prenatally exposed to the 1944-45 Dutch famine. In both men and women we  dentified one anxious/depressive profile and three profiles with approximately equal severity of all symptom types within each profile, yet differentiating in overall severity (low, mild, high) between profiles. 


We additionally found a PTSD symptom profile in women. In men, logistic regression models showed significant associations between prenatal, childhood and adulthood adversity, and profile classification, with differential effects depending on timing and most profound effects of child maltreatment. In women, childhood and adulthood adversity significantly increased classification probability into almost all profiles, with no significant effect of prenatal adversity. These findings support a time-dependent and sex-specific impact of adversity during different periods across the lifespan on psychological health, with consequences into late adulthood.

C. E. Hilberdink, M. van Zuiden, M. Olff, T. J. Roseboom and S. R. de Rooij | 2023
In: Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease ; ISSN: 2040-1744
Online ahead of print doi: 10.1017/S2040174423000181
Adults, Anxiety Disorders, Childhood Adversities, Diagnosis, Exposure, Famine, Mood Disorders, Netherlands, Nutrition, Pregnancy, Psychosis, Psychotrauma, Research, Statistical Analysis, World War II