Biological Markers of Cumulative Dysregulation among Adolescents and Young Adults: A Cohort Study Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Bethany K. Wexler Rainisch, University of California, Los Angeles
Dawn Upchurch, University of California, Los Angeles

The present study examines allostatic load among a nationally representative sample of adolescents and young adults. Allostatic load is a relatively new concept, and focuses on the collective overall risks that result from the wear and tear the body experiences over time. Early youth risk exposure has been associated with increased morbidity and premature mortality later in life, yet most studies examine allostatic load among older populations. The current study examines adolescents (n=8,431) age 12-19 using NHANES 1999-2008. Individual biomarkers such as systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, waist-to-hip ratio, glycosylated hemoglobin, and C-reactive protein are used to determine cumulative physiological dysregulation. Negative binomial multivariable regression modeling is done to determine gender and racial differences in allostatic load across adolescence. Preliminary findings show that allostatic load increases with age, and females and African Americans have higher allostatic load scores than males and Whites.

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Presented in Poster Session 7