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Stages of biological development across Age: An analysis of Canadian Health Measure Survey 2007–2011

TitleStages of biological development across Age: An analysis of Canadian Health Measure Survey 2007–2011
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsChao, Y-S., Wu C-J., Wu H-C., and Chen W-C.
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Pages1 - 9
Keywordsbiomarkers, canadian health measures survey, life stages, principal component analysis, principal components

Introduction The stages of biological development are not clearly defined despite the fact that they have been used to refer to concepts such as adolescence and aging. This study aimed to (1) propose and test a framework to search for stages of representative components and determine stages of stability and transition, (2) identify stages of biological development based on health questionnaire and biomarker data, and (3) interpret the major trajectories in a health and biomarker database. Methods This study analyzed the data on the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) interviewees from cycle 1 to 3 (2007–2013) in Canada. We selected 282 variables containing information from questionnaire and on biomarkers after removing redundant variables based on high correlation. Fifty-nine nominal variables were replaced by 122 binominal variables, leaving 345 variables for analysis. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to summarize the data and the loadings were used to interpret the PCs. A stable stage was assumed to be the age groups without significantly different values of PCs. Results The CHMS interviewed 16,340 Canadians. Of all, 51.25% were female. The age ranged from 6 to 79 years (mean = 34.41 years, 95% CI = 34.74–34.08). The proportions of total variance explained by the first three PCs were 12.14, 4.03, and 3.19%, respectively. The differences of the first PC were not significant, especially between age 22 and 33, 34 and 40, 41 and 45, 46 and 71, and 72 and 79 years (adjusted p > 0.05 for all). The leading variable, in terms of the variance contributed to PC1, was time spent in physical activities, followed by variables related to alcohol consumption, and smoking. The 13 leading contributors to PC2 variances were all lung function measures. Discussion and conclusion There are stages of stability and transition across all age groups based on the first PCs. The first and second PCs are related to physical development and lung function. The identification of stable stages is the first step to understanding how human biology develops in a population perspective and will be important for research that relies on a research population with similar characteristics to draw samples for observation or intervention.

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