IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Infant mortality, season of birth and the health of older Puerto Rican adults

Listed author(s):
  • McEniry, Mary
Registered author(s):

    The increasing prevalence of heart disease and diabetes among aging populations in low and middle income countries leads to questions regarding the degree to which endogenous early life exposures (exposures in utero) are important determinants of these health conditions. We devised a test using infant mortality (IMR) to verify if season of birth is a good indicator of early life (in utero) conditions that precipitate adult onset of disease. We linked annual IMR at the municipality (municipio) level from the late 1920s to early 1940s with individual birth year and place using a representative sample of older Puerto Rican adults (n = 1447) from the Puerto Rican Elderly: Health Conditions (PREHCO) study. We estimated the effects of season of birth on adult heart disease and diabetes for all respondents and then for respondents according to whether they were born when IMR was lower or higher, controlling for age, gender, obesity, respondent's educational level, adult behavior (smoking and exercise) and other early life exposures (childhood health, knee height and childhood socioeconomic status (SES)). The pattern of effects suggests that season of birth reflects endogenous causes: (1) odds of heart disease and diabetes were strong and significant for those born during the lean season in years when IMR was lower; (2) effects remained consistent even after controlling for other childhood conditions and adult behavior; but (3) no seasonality effects on adult health for adults born when IMR was higher. We conclude that in this population of older Puerto Rican adults there is continued support that the timing of adverse endogenous (in utero) conditions such as poor nutrition and infectious diseases is associated with adult heart disease and diabetes. It will be important to test the validity of these findings in other similar populations in the developing world.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(10)00688-X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (March)
    Pages: 1004-1015

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:6:p:1004-1015
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
    2. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Bengtsson, Tommy & Mineau, Geraldine P., 2009. "Early-life effects on socio-economic performance and mortality in later life: A full life-course approach using contemporary and historical sources," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1561-1564, May.
    4. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Doblhammer, Gabriele & Christensen, Kaare, 2009. "Exogenous determinants of early-life conditions, and mortality later in life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1591-1598, May.
    5. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1999_11n1_0059 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mary Mceniry & Alberto Palloni, 2010. "Early life exposures and the occurrence and timing of heart disease among the older adult Puerto Rican population," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 23-43, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:6:p:1004-1015. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.