Association of early- and adult-life socioeconomic circumstances with muscle strength in older age

TitleAssociation of early- and adult-life socioeconomic circumstances with muscle strength in older age
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsCheval, B, Boisgontier, M, Orsholits, D, Sieber, S, Guessous, I, Gabriel, R, Stringhini, S, Blane, D, Van der Linden, BWA, Kliegel, M, Burton-Jeangros, C, Courvoisier, D, Cullati, S
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume47
Issue3
Pagination398–407
Date Published05/2018
Keywordsageing, hand strength, health, older people, socioeconomic status
Abstract

Background: socioeconomic circumstances (SEC) during a person’s lifespan influence a wide range of health outcomes. However, solid evidence of the association of early- and adult-life SEC with health trajectories in ageing is still lacking. This study assessed whether early-life SEC are associated with muscle strength in later life—a biomarker of health—and whether this relationship is caused by adult-life SEC and health behaviours. Methods: we used data from the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe, a 12-year population-based cohort study with repeated measurement in six waves (2004–15) and retrospective collection of life-course data. Participants’ grip strength was assessed by using a handheld dynamometer. Confounder-adjusted logistic mixed-effect models were used to examine the associations of early- and adult-life SEC with the risk of low muscle strength (LMS) in older age. Results: a total of 24,179 participants (96,375 observations) aged 50–96 living in 14 European countries were included in the analyses. Risk of LMS was increased with disadvantaged relative to advantaged early-life SEC. The association between risk of LMS and disadvantaged early-life SEC gradually decreased when adjusting for adult-life SEC for both sexes and with unhealthy behaviours for women. After adjusting for these factors, all associations between risk of LMS and early-life SEC remained significant for women. Conclusion: early-life SEC are associated with muscle strength after adjusting for adult-life SEC and behavioural lifestyle factors, especially in women, which suggests that early life may represent a sensitive period for future health.

URLhttps://academic.oup.com/ageing/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ageing/afy003/4855280
DOI10.1093/ageing/afy003