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Biodemography and Social Biology

Yang Claire Yang, Karen Gerken, Kristen Schorpp, Courtney Boen, Kathleen Mullan Harris
A growing literature has demonstrated a link between early-life socioeconomic conditions and adult health at a singular point in life. No research exists, however, that specifies the life course patterns of socioeconomic status (SES) in relation to the underlying biological processes that determine health. Using an innovative life course research design consisting of four nationally representative longitudinal datasets that collectively cover the human life span from early adolescence to old age (Add Health, MIDUS, NSHAP, and HRS), we address this scientific gap and assess how SES pathways from childhood into adulthood are associated with biophysiological outcomes in different adult life stages...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Geeta N Eick, Paul Kowal, Tyler Barrett, Elizabeth A Thiele, J Josh Snodgrass
Apolipoprotein B (ApoB) is a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading cause of mortality in both higher and lower income countries. Here, we adapted an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) development kit for quantitative determination of ApoB levels in serum and plasma for use with dried blood spots (DBS). After confirming the dilution linearity of the assay for DBS, we measured ApoB in 208 venous DBS samples. Then, using Passing-Bablok regression analysis and Spearman rank correlation analysis, we evaluated the correspondence in ApoB values between matched plasma and finger-prick DBS samples from 40 individuals who had ApoB values spanning the range of ApoB values observed in the 208 vDBS samples...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Zhuoni Zhang, Shige Song, Xiaogang Wu
This article examines the long-term health consequences of China's 1959-1961 famine by comparing people who stayed in Guangdong and endured the famine with people who crossed the border to immigrate to Hong Kong and thus escaped the famine. Based on data from the Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (HKPSSD) and the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), we focused on two health indicators-body mass index (BMI) and self-rated health (SRH)-of the cohort born before 1959. Our results show that the stayers who experienced the famine have a lower BMI than the emigrants, and they are likely to have a poor SRH...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Maria C Norton, Daniel J Hatch, Ronald G Munger, Ken R Smith
Biological and epidemiological evidence has linked early-life psychosocial stress with late-life health, with inflammation as a potential mechanism. We report here the association between familial death in childhood and adulthood and increased levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation. The Cache County Memory Study is a prospective study of persons initially aged 65 and older in 1995. In 2002, there were 1,955 persons in the study with data on CRP (42.3 percent male, mean [SD] age = 81...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Aniruddha Das
This nationally representative study queried effects of community dwelling older adults' depression and inflammation at baseline on over-time changes in surrogate markers of their cardiometabolic risk. Data were from the 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 waves of the U.S. National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. Inflammation was indicated by C-reactive protein and depression by the CES-D scale. Cardiometabolic markers included hemoglobin A1c and systolic BP. Lagged dependent variable models were used to examine effects...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Terrence D Hill, Preeti Vaghela, Christopher G Ellison, Sunshine Rote
Although numerous studies suggest that religious involvement is associated with better health and longer life expectancies, it is unclear whether these general patterns extend to cellular aging. The mechanisms linking indicators of religious involvement with indicators of cellular aging are also undefined. We employed longitudinal data from the 2004 and 2008 Health and Retirement Study, a national probability sample of Americans aged 50 and older, to test whether average telomere length varied according to level of religious attendance...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Anna Zajacova, Jennifer Karas Montez
Functional limitations and disability declined in the US during the 1980s and 1990s, but reports of early 21st century trends are mixed. Whether educational inequalities in functioning increased or decreased is also poorly understood. Given the importance of disability for productivity, independent living, and health care costs, these trends are critical to US social and health policies. We examine recent trends in functional limitations and disability among women and men aged 45-64. Using 2000-2015 National Health Interview Surveys data on over 155,000 respondents, semiparametric and logistic regression models visualize and test functioning trends by education...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Natalie A Rivadeneira, Andrew Noymer
We analyze lung cancer mortality by age and sex in the United States, 1959-2013. It is already known that male lung cancer death rates exceed those of women and that tobacco use is the leading reason for the sex difference. We elaborate on this knowledge by showing that unlike most causes of death, lung cancer mortality patterns by age are a very good fit to a quadratic-Gompertz model, i.e., log mortality rates are quadratic by age, with the mode above age 70. With a little additional historical data on sex differences in tobacco use, the quadratic models help to paint a clear quantitative picture of behavior-led convergence in lung cancer mortality by sex...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Julie Skalamera Olson, Robert A Hummer, Kathleen Mullan Harris
U.S. trends in population health suggest alarming disparities among young adults, who are less healthy across most measureable domains than their counterparts in other high-income countries; these international comparisons are particularly troubling for women. To deepen our understanding of gender disparities in health and underlying behavioral contributions, we document gender-specific clusters of health behavior among U.S. young adults using nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Eileen Crimmins
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
April M Falconi
Studies using the sensitive periods framework typically examine the effects of early life exposures on later life health, due to the significant growth and development occurring during the first few years of life. The menopausal transition (i.e., perimenopause) is similarly characterized by rapid physiological change, yet rarely has been tested as a sensitive window in adulthood. Cohort mortality data drawn from three historic populations, Sweden (1751-1919), France (1816-1919), and England and Wales (1841-1919), were analyzed using time series methods to assess whether conditions at midlife significantly influenced or "programmed" later life longevity...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Anna Merklinger-Gruchala, Grazyna Jasienska, Maria Kapiszewska
Multiparous mothers have greater umbilical blood flow and thus more efficient transport of pollutants than primiparous mothers. We tested a hypothesis that multiparous mothers are more prone to have an infant with low birth weight (LBW) after prenatal exposure to air pollution. A study was conducted on a representative group of more than 74,000 singleton, live, full-term infants. Birth data were obtained from the birth registry, while pollution data were from an environmental monitoring system (Poland). Multiple comparisons were controlled by the false discovery rate procedure (FDR)...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Ryan K Masters, Andrea M Tilstra, Daniel H Simon
Recent increases in all-cause mortality rates among the middle-aged U.S. white population have been explained in terms of elevated levels of midlife distress. This brief report provides evidence against this explanation for recent mortality trends among U.S. white men and women. Official mortality rates for U.S. white men and women aged 45-54 from suicide, chronic liver disease, drug poisonings, and other "extrinsic" causes of death (i.e., causes external to the body) between 1980 and 2013 are examined. Results suggest that recent increases in extrinsic mortality among the middle-aged U...
2017: Biodemography and Social Biology
Michel Poulain, Anne Herm, Dany Chambre, Gianni Pes
The question of whether mothers' fertility history influences their post-reproductive survival has been addressed frequently in the scientific literature. Using data from Villagrande Strisaili, Sardinia, where longevity is higher than anywhere else in Europe, we analyzed the relationship between the fertility pattern of mothers who survived past age 50 (n = 539) and their post-reproductive lifespan. We find that, after adjustment for potential confounders (mothers' birth cohort, survival of spouse), the mothers who on average delivered their children later displayed a reduced mortality risk (‒2...
2016: Biodemography and Social Biology
Neal Krause, Gail Ironson, Kenneth I Pargament
Research indicates that praying for others may offset the effects of stress on self-rated health and psychological well-being. The purpose of the current study is to extend this literature by seeing whether praying for others moderates the effects of exposure to lifetime trauma on a key marker of inflammation: C-reactive protein. The data come from a recent nationwide survey of adults of all ages (N = 1,589). Levels of C-reactive protein were obtained from assays of blood spots drawn from a capillary fingerstick...
2016: Biodemography and Social Biology
Stephen Cranney
While prior literature on the genetics of human fertility outcomes and attitudes has generally yielded significantly positive results in developed-country contexts, the implications of this dynamic for the potential for intergenerational increases in fertility are rarely raised. Here the prior literature on the subject is discussed in light of its implications for future changes due to selection, equations traditionally used in human demography are integrated into an evolutionary biological framework, and speculative calculations on the change in future fertility assuming already published numbers for parities and heritability are conducted...
2016: Biodemography and Social Biology
Jason E Murasko
Previous work has shown a positive height-obesity association in U.S. children that is more pronounced in those from lower-income families than in those from higher-income families. That work has been limited to cross-sectional analysis. This study evaluates income differentials in the inter-temporal associations between childhood height and obesity in U.S. children ages 6 to 14. Pooled samples of 9,670 female and 10,110 male children from the U.S. Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) were evaluated in multilevel mixed effects models...
2016: Biodemography and Social Biology
W Carson Byrd, Latrica E Best
As the social sciences expand their involvement in genetic and genomic research, more information is needed to understand how theoretical concepts are applied to genetic data found in social surveys. Given the layers of complexity of studying race in relation to genetics and genomics, it is important to identify the varying approaches used to discuss and operationalize race and identity by social scientists. The present study explores how social scientists have used race, ethnicity, and ancestry in studies published in four social science journals from 2000 to 2014...
2016: Biodemography and Social Biology
Geeta Eick, Samuel S Urlacher, Thomas W McDade, Paul Kowal, J Josh Snodgrass
Our objective was to validate a commercially available ELISA to measure antibody titers against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in dried blood spots (DBS) to replace a previously validated assay for DBS that is no longer available. We evaluated the precision, reliability, and stability of the assay for the measurement of EBV antibodies in matched plasma, fingerprick DBS, and venous blood DBS samples from 208 individuals. Effects of hematocrit and DBS sample matrix on EBV antibody determination were also investigated, and the cutoff for seropositivity in DBS was determined...
2016: Biodemography and Social Biology
Lydia Feinstein, Sara Ferrando-Martínez, Manuel Leal, Xuan Zhou, Gregory D Sempowski, Derek E Wildman, Monica Uddin, Allison E Aiello
The thymus is critical for mounting an effective immune response and maintaining health. However, epidemiologic studies characterizing thymic function in the population setting are lacking. Using data from 263 adults in the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study, we examined thymic function as measured by the number of signal joint T-cell receptor excision circles (sjTREC) and assessed associations with established indicators of physiological health. Overall, increasing age and male gender were significantly associated with reduced thymic function...
2016: Biodemography and Social Biology
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