Life-Course Weight Measurements and Cardiovascular Biomarkers in Persons Age 60 and Older: A Comparison of the United States and Costa Rica

David Rehkopf, Stanford University
William H. Dow, University of California, Berkeley
Luis Rosero-Bixby, Universidad de Costa Rica

Our analysis examines life course BMI and body size predictors of four cardiovascular risk biomarkers in later life, contrasting associations in Costa Rica and the United States. This give us the potential to examine the universality of associations in a high GDP and middle GDP country, and also allows us to examine whether similar associations between obesity and mortality risk exist in a country with different socioeconomic relationships with obesity. Despite prior suggestion of important life course impacts on cardiovascular risk markers, we find only some support for the impact of early life BMI and maximum lifetime BMI on these risk markers. In both Costa Rica and the United States, in models controlling for attained education, we find that maximum lifetime BMI is additionally predictive of HbA1c. Findings with trigylcerides suggest that recall of body size from pictures may be more accurate than recall of exact weight.

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Presented in Session 6: Biodemographic Influences on Health and Mortality I