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Socioeconomic Disadvantage in Childhood and Across the Life Course and All-Cause Mortality and Physical Function in Adulthood : Evidence from the Alameda County Study

Turrell, Gavin, Lynch, John W., Leite, Claudia, Raghunathan, Trivellore, & Kaplan, George A. (2007) Socioeconomic Disadvantage in Childhood and Across the Life Course and All-Cause Mortality and Physical Function in Adulthood : Evidence from the Alameda County Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 61(8), pp. 723-730.

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Abstract

Study objective: This study measures the childhood and lifecourse socioeconomic exposures of people born between 1871 and 1949, and then estimates the probability of death between 1965 and 1994, the probability of functional limitation in 1994, and the combined probability of dying or experiencing functional limitation during this period.

Setting, participants and design: Data were from the Alameda County Study (California) and pertain to persons aged 17-94 years (n=6627) in 1965 (baseline). Socioeconomic position (SEP) in childhood was based on respondent’s reports of their father's occupation, and lifecourse disadvantage was measured by cross-classifying childhood SEP and the respondent's education and household income in 1965. The health outcomes were all-cause mortality (n=2420) and functional limitation measured using the NAGI index (n=453, 17.4% of those alive in 1994). Relationships are examined prior to and after adjustment for changed socioeconomic circumstances post-1965.

Main Results: Those from a low SEP in childhood, and those exposed to a greater number of episodes of disadvantage over the lifecourse before 1965, were subsequently more likely to die, to report functional limitation, and to experience the greatest health-related burden.

Conclusions: All-cause mortality, functional limitation, and overall health-related burden in middle- and late-adulthood are shaped by socioeconomic conditions experienced during childhood and cumulative disadvantage over the lifecourse. The contributions made to adult health by childhood SEP and accumulated disadvantage suggests that each constitutes a distinct socioeconomic influence that may require different policy responses and intervention options.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 14000
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Lifecourse, socioeconomic position, childhood, cumulative disadvantage, mortality, physical function
DOI: 10.1136/jech.2006.050609
ISSN: 0143-005X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 BMJ Publishing Group
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 08 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:38

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