266578 Role of interpersonal relationships and early life socioeconomic conditions on morbidity in women in mid-life

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Jasmine McDonald, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Parisa Tehranifar, DrPH , Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Yuyan Liao, MS, MA , Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Mary Beth Terry, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Background: Socioeconomic circumstances in early life have been shown to shape adult interpersonal social experiences (interpersonal conflict, racial and gender discrimination) and adult health outcomes.

Method: Using a prospective, urban, birth cohort of U.S. women (38-45 years), we examined the association between socioeconomic status at birth (divided into tertiles of low, medium, and high) with lifetime racial discrimination reported in adulthood and adult morbidity (heart disease, asthma, thyroid disease, arthritis, pain, cancer). Morbidity was classified as no disease, single disease, or multiple diseases.

Results: Sixty-percent of the sample was non-white and 54% had less than a college degree. Twenty-seven percent reported having a single disease and 31% had multiple diseases. Thirty-nine percent of the sample reported experiencing racial discrimination. We observed a U-shaped association between childhood socioeconomic status and the reporting of racial discrimination in adulthood (X2=5.3, p=0.3). Reporting 1-2 cases of racial discrimination was associated with increased risk of morbidity in mid-life (RR=2.5, CI 1.0-6.3 for reporting one morbidity and RR=2.6, CI 1.1-6.2 for multiple diseases). Analyses restricted to heart disease revealed similar findings. Heart disease was positively associated with 1-2 reports of racial discrimination (RR=2.6, CI 1.0-6.8). We also found that women born into the second tertile of socioeconomic status were more likely to have heart disease in comparison to those born into the highest tertile of socioeconomic status (p=0.04).

Conclusion: If replicated, our results suggest that there is significant morbidity associated with racial discrimination and that the latter may be associated with socioeconomic status in early life.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Analyze the role of the social environment and early life factors associated with chronic disease in a birth cohort of U.S. women 2. Discuss the implications of racial discrimination on chronic diseases within a racially and ethnically diverse population. 3. Articulate the importance of including social environment measures in lifecourse cohort studies.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a postdoctoral fellow in sociobehavioral cancer research and am currently a postdoctoral fellow in gene-environment interaction research in cancer. Among my research interest has been the association of the interpersonal environment with epigenetics and disease. I am responsible for the analysis of the submitted work within the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 5052.0: Social Epidemiology 2