Childhood Conditions and Multimorbidity Among Older Adults

TitleChildhood Conditions and Multimorbidity Among Older Adults
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPavela, G, Latham, K
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Date Published05/2015
KeywordsAdult children, Demographics, Event History/Life Cycle, Health Conditions and Status

Objectives. This research tests whether childhood conditions are associated with trajectories of chronic conditions among older adults.Methods. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (1992 2008), a series of hierarchical linear models are used to estimate number of chronic conditions at survey midpoint and the rate of increase in chronic conditions across 18 years of data.Results. Results suggest that lower childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and poor childhood health are associated with increased number of chronic conditions; however, childhood SES is no longer associated with chronic conditions after adjustment for adult SES and adult health. Poor childhood health continues to be associated with total number of chronic conditions after adjustment for adult SES and health. Rate of change in chronic conditions was not associated with childhood conditions. Results from a multinomial logistic regression model further indicated that the association between childhood conditions and adult multimorbidity increased at higher levels of multimorbidity.Discussion. This research adds to the evidence that early life conditions have a lasting influence on adult health, and that their influence may be independent of adult health and SES.

Endnote Keywords

aging/Life course/life course epidemiology/multilevel models/multimorbidity/Socioeconomic status/childhood health

Endnote ID


Citation Key6444