Posted on Dec 20, 2016, 6 a.m.
Children with favorable psychosocial factors may have better cardiovascular health in adulthood.
Previous studies have identified a number of family-based psychosocial factors that can impact health – namely, emotional stability, behavior management, and financial security. Laura Pulkki-Raback, from the University of Helsinki (Finland), and colleagues studied data collected on 3,577 children, ages 3 to 18 years. The team measured socioeconomic status, emotional stability, parental health behaviors, stressful events, self-regulation of behavioral problems and social adjustment. Twenty-seven years later, researchers assessed 1,089 of the participants, ages 30-45 years at the time, to determine their level of ideal cardiovascular health. Subjects with positive psychosocial disposition in childhood scored higher on an ideal cardiovascular health index in adulthood, as compared to those with least psychosocial advantages. As well, those with favorable psychosocial experiences in youth had 14% greater chance of being at normal weight as an adult; 12% greater chance of being a non-smoker as an adult; and 11% greater chance to have a healthy glucose level as an adult. The study authors report that: “The findings suggest a dose-response association between favorable psychosocial factors in youth and cardiovascular health in adulthood.”
Pulkki-Raback L, Elovainio M, Hakulinen C, Lipsanen J, Hintsanen M, Jokela Met al. “Cumulative effect of psychosocial factors in youth on ideal cardiovascular health in adulthood: the cardiovascular risk in young Finns study.” Circulation. 2015 Jan 20;131(3):245-53.