PARC Departmental Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

September 2005


Postprint version. Published in Social Biology, Volume 52, Issue 3/4, Fall 2005, pages 112-131.


We investigated the interplay between characteristics of early childhood circumstances and current socioeconomic conditions and health, focusing specifically on diabetes in mid and late life in Mexico. The analysis used data from the 2001 Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), a large nationally representative study of Mexicans born before 1950. We analyzed the extent to which childhood conditions, such as exposure to infectious diseases, a poor socioeconomic environment, and parental education, affect the risk of diabetes in later life. Our results indicate that individuals age 50 and older who experienced serious health problems before age 10 have a higher risk of having late-life diabetes. There is a significant inverse relationship between maternal education and diabetes in late life of adult offspring. Individuals with better educated mothers have a lower risk of being diabetic after age 50. This relationship remains after controlling for other childhood and adult risk factors.


socioeconomic, childhood, diabetes, Mexico, MHAS, risk, late-life diabetes



Date Posted: 18 March 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.