Life Course Pathways to Adult-Onset Diabetes

TitleLife Course Pathways to Adult-Onset Diabetes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBest, LE, Hayward, MD, Hidajat, MM
JournalSocial Biology
Call Numbernewpubs20071002_diabetes.pdf
KeywordsAdult children, Demographics, Health Conditions and Status

Early life conditions, such as socioeconomic status (SES) and health, have the potential to set in motion multiple and reinforcing pathways that shape both the prevalence and onset of diabetes among older adults. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2002) for persons age 51 years and older, we investigated the core mediating mechanisms linking early life conditions with diabetes prevalence in 1998 and onset over a 4-year follow-up period, focusing on adult achievement processes and obesity as key mechanisms. We found that father's education is negatively associated with diabetes prevalence for older men and women. However, no markers of early life SES are directly associated with older men's and women's onset of diabetes, and the negative effects of adult SES on diabetes onset pertain only to women. Early life health affects the onset of diabetes among women-but not the prevalence-and no evidence of this association was found for men. We found no evidence that obesity is an important mechanism connecting either early life or adult SES with diabetes development in men or women. We speculate that early life SES may accelerate the development of diabetes at younger ages, and that the pathways linking life course SES, early life health, and diabetes are partly gender-specific and biological in nature.

Endnote Keywords

diabetes/childhood conditions/socioeconomic status/Obesity

Endnote ID


Citation Key7058