Early Life Conditions, Adult Disability and Mortality among Aging Populations in Developing Countries
Mary McEniry, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Adverse early-life conditions may have strong effects on levels and severity of older adult chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes which in turn impact disability and mortality. These effects may be particularly apparent in mortality regimes which produced a larger pool of survivors of poor early life conditions. Data from 16 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa are used to examine early-life conditions, disease and disability, with data from the US, UK, and Netherlands as benchmarks. Estimates of the effects of early-life conditions on heart disease and diabetes were generated, followed by estimates of effects on disability and mortality, controlling for chronic conditions. In some cases, older adults born in mortality regimes which produced a larger pool of survivors of early-life conditions are at higher odds of experiencing heart disease and diabetes, as well as being at increased risk of being disabled and dying.