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Physical health status at 36 years in a British national birth cohort

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  • Kuh, D. J. L.
  • Wadsworth, M. E. J.

Abstract

In a nationally representative British sample of over 3000 men and women aged 36 years, those in the best or worst of health were identified on the basis of measured blood pressure, lung function and body weight, self reported health problems and disability, and recent hospital admission. Serious illness in earlier life was strongly predictive of current adult health status. Even after adjusting for this and for current social circumstances and health related behaviour, those who came from poorer family backgrounds or were least well educated did not have an equal chance of being in the best of health at 36 years. Living in adverse social circumstances in adult life increased the risk of having the worst health. The analysis suggests that a number of pathways link childhood experiences to adult health and shows the need for a lifetime research perspective on health.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuh, D. J. L. & Wadsworth, M. E. J., 1993. "Physical health status at 36 years in a British national birth cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 905-916, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:37:y:1993:i:7:p:905-916
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Rosa Dias, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in health: evidence from a UK cohort study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(9), pages 1057-1074.
    2. Pedro Rosa Dias, 2010. "Modelling opportunity in health under partial observability of circumstances," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 252-264.
    3. Meng, Xin & Qian, Nancy, 2006. "The Long Run Health and Economic Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from China’s Great Famine," IZA Discussion Papers 2471, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
    5. Koziel, Slawomir & Lopuszanska, Monika & Szklarska, Alicja & Lipowicz, Anna, 2010. "The negative health consequences of unemployment: The case of Poland," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 255-260, July.
    6. Grimard, F. & Laszlo, S., 2014. "Long-Term Effects of Civil Conflict on Women’s Health Outcomes in Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 139-155.
    7. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2003. "From Cradle to Grave? The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," NBER Working Papers 9788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Johnson, Rucker C. & Schoeni, Robert F. & Rogowski, Jeannette A., 2012. "Health disparities in mid-to-late life: The role of earlier life family and neighborhood socioeconomic conditions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(4), pages 625-636.
    9. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian, 2009. "The Long Term Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment using China's Great Famine," NBER Working Papers 14917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Franque Grimard & Sonia Laszlo & Wilfredo Lim, 2008. "Health, Aging And Socio-Economic Conditions In Mexico," Departmental Working Papers 2008-06, McGill University, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_impact_childhood_health is not listed on IDEAS

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