Objective: This study examines the relationship between economic adversity transitions from childhood to older adulthood and older adulthood physical performance among 1,998 community-dwelling older adults from five demographically diverse sites from middle and high-income countries.
Method: The principal exposure variable was economic adversity transition. No adversity encompassed not experiencing poverty in both childhood and older adulthood, improved described having only experienced poverty in childhood, worsened captured having experienced poverty in older adulthood, and severe is having experienced poverty in both childhood and older adulthood. The short physical performance battery (SPPB) was used for outcome measures. Analyses of the continuous SPPB score used linear regression, while analysis of a binary outcome (SPPB < 8 vs. ?8) used Poisson regression models with robust error variance, both adjusting for sex, education, and site location.
Result: In sex-stratified models, the SPPB < 8 prevalence rate ratio (PRR) was higher for the severe (PRR: 2.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.70, 4.61]), worsened (PRR: 2.40, 95% CI = [1.41, 4.09]), and improved (PRR: 1.82, 95% CI = [1.11, 3.01]) groups, compared with those with no adversity in childhood or as adults, but only for females.
Discussion: Findings from this study indicate that persistent economic adversity has a negative effect on older adult physical performance, especially among women.
SOURCE: Hwang P, Santos Gomes C, Auais M, et al. “Economic Adversity Transitions From Childhood to Older Adulthood Are Differentially Associated With Later-Life Physical Performance Measures in Men and Women in Middle and High-Income Sites, SAGE, March 1, 2019.
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