This Week In The Bmj

Risks to longevity begin early in life

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 09 November 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:f

Adult death rates are higher among people growing up in poor living conditions, suggesting that risks to survival begin in early life. On page 1076, Kuh and colleagues report on socioeconomic conditions in childhood and mortality in a British birth cohort. Cohort members from manual family backgrounds or who lived in the worst conditions at age 4 were twice as likely to die aged 26-54 as those brought up in more advantageous conditions. This excess risk was not accounted for by the differences in socioeconomic conditions in adulthood that were also strongly related to mortality.

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