Changes in physical activity levels and mental health during COVID-19: Prospective findings among adult twin pairs

Duncan GE, Avery AR, Tsang S, Williams BD, Seto E. Background Physical distancing and other COVID-19 pandemic mitigation strategies have negatively impacted physical activity (PA) levels and mental health in cross-sectional studies. The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between changes in PA and mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic, following implementation […]

Reassessing relationships between appetite and adiposity in people at risk of obesity: a twin study using fMRI

Sewaybricker LE, Melhorn SJ, Rosenbaum JL, Askren MK, Tyagi V, Webb MF, De Leon MRB, Grabowski TJ, Schur EA Background Neuroimaging studies suggest that appetitive drive is enhanced in obesity. Objective To test if appetitive drive varies in direct proportion to the level of body adiposity after accounting for genetic factors that contribute to both […]

Differences in Stress and Anxiety Among Women With and Without Children in the Household During the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Avery AR, Tsang S, Seto EYW, Duncan GE The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have had a disproportionate impact on parents of children under 18, particularly women. Mandatory school closures and loss of childcare resulted in parents balancing work, teaching, and childcare needs. A number of studies have examined changes in mental health of parents, […]

Educational attainment of same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins: An individual-level pooled study of 19 twin cohorts

Silventoinen K, Bogl LH, Jelenkovic A, et al. Comparing twins from same- and opposite-sex pairs can provide information on potential sex differences in a variety of outcomes, including socioeconomic-related outcomes such as educational attainment. It has been suggested that this design can be applied to examine the putative role of intrauterine exposure to testosterone for […]

GPS-based built environment measures associated with adult physical activity

Boakye KA, Amram O, Schuna JM, Duncan GE, Hystad P. Studies often rely on home locations to access built environment (BE) influences on physical activity (PA). We use GPS and accelerometer data collected for 288 individuals over a two-week period to examine eight GPS-derived BE characteristics and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and light-to-moderate-vigorous PA (LMVPA). NDVI, […]

Measurement of neighborhood-based physical activity bouts

Duncan GE, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Avery AR, Tsang S. This study examined how buffer type (shape), size, and the allocation of activity bouts inside buffers that delineate the neighborhood spatially produce different estimates of neighborhood-based physical activity. A sample of 375 adults wore a global positioning system (GPS) data logger and accelerometer over 2 […]

Genetic and environmental influences on posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and disinhibited eating behaviors

Afari N, Gasperi M, Dochat C, Wooldridge JS, Herbert MS, Schur EA, Buchwald DS. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders (ED) frequently co-occur, but the mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. EDs are characterized by features of maladaptive eating behaviors including disinhibited eating and cognitive dietary restraint. Identifying the genetic overlap between PTSD symptoms […]

Is COVID-19 keeping us up at night? Stress, anxiety, and sleep among adult twins

Tsang S, Avery AR, Seto EYW, Duncan GE In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a variety of social distancing measures to mitigate the virus outbreak have been implemented. These measures may have unintended consequences on individuals’ well-being, such as increased stress, anxiety, and sleep disruptions. We investigated the extent to which individuals’ mental health status […]

Fear and depression linked to COVID-19 exposure A study of adult twins during the COVID-19 pandemic

Tsang S, Avery AR, Duncan GE. Millions of people have been impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide. High infection rates and death tolls, combined with social distancing measures, may have unintended psychological consequences on individuals. The goal of this study was to examine the interrelations between COVID-19 exposure, fear of COVID-19, and depression […]