Past and present: conditions of life during childhood and mortality of older adults
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To analyze whether socioeconomic and health conditions during childhood are associated with mortality during old age. METHODS: Data were extracted from the SABE Study (Saúde, Bem-estar e Envelhecimento – Health, Welfare and Aging), which were performed in 2000 and 2006. The sample consisted of 2004 (1,355 living and 649 dead) older adults. The statistical analysis was performed based on Poisson regression models, taking into account the time variation of risk observed. Older adults’ demographic characteristics and life conditions were evaluated, as were the socioeconomic and lifestyle conditions they acquired during their adult life. RESULTS: Only the area of residence during childhood (rural or urban) remained as a factor associated with mortality at advanced ages. However, this association lost significance when the variables acquired during adulthood were added to the model. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the information regarding the conditions during childhood being limited and perhaps not accurately measure the socioeconomic status and health in the first years of life, the findings of this study suggest that improving the environmental conditions of children and creating opportunities during early adulthood may contribute to greater survival rates for those of more advanced years.