Main content area

Household Income and Cardiovascular Disease Risks in U.S. Children and Young Adults: Analyses from NHANES 1999–2008

Ali, Mohammed K., Bullard, Kai McKeever, Beckles, Gloria L., Stevens, Mark R., Barker, Lawrence, Venkat Narayan, K.M., Imperatore, Giuseppina
Diabetes care 2011 v.34 no.9 pp. 1998-2004
C-reactive protein, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, adolescents, boys, cardiovascular diseases, children, cholesterol, girls, glycohemoglobin, health promotion, households, issues and policy, low income households, nationalities and ethnic groups, obesity, risk, risk factors, risk profile, systolic blood pressure, tobacco, women, young adults, youth, United States
OBJECTIVE: To assess the cardiovascular risk profile of youths across socioeconomic groups in the U.S. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Analysis of 1999–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) including 16,085 nonpregnant 6- to 24-year-olds to estimate race/ethnicity-adjusted prevalence of obesity, central obesity, sedentary behaviors, tobacco exposure, elevated systolic blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin, non-HDL cholesterol (non–HDL-C), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein according to age-group, sex, and poverty-income ratio (PIR) tertiles. RESULTS: Among boys aged 6–11 years, 19.9% in the lowest PIR tertile were obese and 30.0% were centrally obese compared with 13.2 and 21.6%, respectively, in the highest-income tertile households (Pobesity < 0.05 and Pcentral obesity < 0.01). Boys aged 12–17 years in lowest-income households were more likely than their wealthiest family peers to be obese (20.6 vs. 15.6%, P < 0.05), sedentary (14.8 vs. 9.3%, P < 0.05), and exposed to tobacco (19.0 vs. 6.5%, P < 0.01). Compared with girls aged 12–17 years in highest-income households, lowest-income household girls had higher prevalence of obesity (17.9 vs. 13.1%, P < 0.05), central obesity (41.5 vs. 29.2%, P < 0.01), sedentary behaviors (20.4 vs. 9.4%, P < 0.01), and tobacco exposure (14.1 vs. 5.9%, P < 0.01). Apart from higher prevalence of elevated non–HDL-C among low-income women aged 18–24 years (23.4 vs. 15.8%, P < 0.05), no other cardiovascular disease risk factor prevalence differences were observed between lowest- and highest-income background young adults. CONCLUSIONS: Independent of race/ethnicity, 6- to 17-year-olds from low-income families have higher prevalence of obesity, central obesity, sedentary behavior, and tobacco exposure. Multifaceted cardiovascular health promotion policies are needed to reduce health disparities between income groups.