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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Mar;58(3):488-94.

Obesity and socioeconomic position measured at three stages of the life course in the elderly.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between socioeconomic position, measured at three stages of the life course, and obesity in the elderly.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study carried out in 2000-2001.

SUBJECTS:

In total, 4009 subjects aged 60 y and older, representative of the Spanish noninstitutionalised population.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

We estimated body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) by social class in childhood, by educational level and by adult social class, as well as the association between these two obesity measures and each socioeconomic characteristic after adjusting for the other two.

RESULTS:

In men, no relation was found between the two measures of obesity studied and socioeconomic circumstances throughout the life course. Nor was any relation found in women between social class in childhood and the two measures of obesity after adjusting for the other two socioeconomic variables. In contrast, BMI and WC in women showed a statistically significant inverse gradient with educational level and with adult social class after adjusting for age and the rest of the socioeconomic variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

In general, these results support the small amount of existing evidence on the association between obesity and abdominal obesity and socioeconomic position by educational level and adult social class. The results for social class in childhood do not support the existing evidence, and suggest that this association may depend on specific historic and cultural circumstances.

PMID:
14985688
DOI:
10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601835
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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